MADISON, Wis. — Last month the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Elections and Urban Affairs, by a 3-2 vote, rejected proposed legislation to ban extended hours of in-person voting. Assembly Bill 54 rejected by the committee would have outlawed in-person voting after 6pm on weekdays and effectively eliminated weekend voting opportunities like non-partisan “souls to the polls” drives by faith-based organizations.
Late this afternoon a second vote will be taken on a Senate version of the proposal, Senate Bill 324. Municipalities would be barred from offering in-person voting after 7pm on weekdays and could not allow voters access to their state constitutional right to vote for more than 45 hours per week in the weeks leading up to election day. In addition, weekend in person voting would be outlawed killing non-partisan “souls to the polls” drives oftentimes organized by faith-based organizations in minority communities.
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross on the latest Republican plot to restrict access to the franchise by outlawing most after hours, early in-person voting in Wisconsin:
“Senate Republicans have outdone themselves. Not only have they revived legislation voted down in committee just weeks ago, they managed to make it even worse.
“Republicans are sending a clear message to working families, minorities, seniors and students that their participation in our democracy is not wanted.
“Whatever the bill number this is yet another cynical and shameful attempt to take away rights and manipulate the rules on voting from Republicans seeking to gain unfair partisan advantage for themselves.
“This fight won’t be over if Gov. Walker signs the bill, it will be over when a judge rules this obscene attempt to restrict access to the franchise for minority, elderly and working class voters unconstitutional.”