MADISON, Wis. — The State Assembly has once again attacked the right to vote in Wisconsin as Republicans today rammed through controversial legislation to impose new restrictions on early voting. The Senate approved the bill earlier in the week and it now makes its way to Gov. Walker for his signature or veto.
Senate Bill 324 (SB 324) would prohibit early, in-person voting before 8am or after 7pm on weekdays or for more than 45 hours per week in municipalities statewide. Weekend in-person absentee voting would be banned.
Early voting has been an effective way to reduce congestion and delays on Election Day and help facilitate access to the franchise for seniors, persons with disabilities, minorities and working families. According to the Executive Director of the City of Milwaukee Election Commission, minority voters would be suffer reduced access to the franchise.
Fifty-six Republicans voting for the bill, including the authors, have themselves voted early in recent elections.
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross regarding the Assembly vote to approve SB 324:
“It’s black and white what’s going on here. Republican politicians are manipulating the rules on voting, leaving urban and minority voters with unequal access to the franchise, all to give themselves an unfair partisan advantage. That is voting fraud, pure and simple.
“We don’t mandate every community have the same number of schools, regardless of the number of kids. We wouldn’t make communities eliminate firefighters or police officers because some have more than others. Yet when it comes to voting Republicans seem to think it is acceptable to leave urban and minority voters with separate and unequal access to the ballot box.
“Voting is a right enshrined in our State Constitution. Today Assembly Republicans, blinded by their ambition and seemingly unquenchable thirst for partisan advantage, have passed a hypocritical, racist and fraudulent bill to restrict access to that right.
“Even if Gov. Walker chooses to not protect our right to vote and signs the bill into law this fight will not be over. This fight will end when a judge signs an order declaring this latest assault on the right to vote is unconstitutional.”