State legislators may hear a bipartisan agreement in the midst of rancor over changes to the state’s campaign finance regulations. Sen. Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, has introduced legislation that would allow Wisconsin voters to register online. While the legislation comes at a time when Republicans are attempting to rewrite campaign finance regulations and transform the Government Accountability Board into two separate partisan-appointed commissions, it also comes with rare bipartisan support. The bill was initially cosponsored by Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, and had the co-sponsorship of several other Democrats in the Legislature. However, LeMahieu said late Thursday that most Democratic sponsorship had dropped off the bill, due to concerns regarding other changes. The bill also includes language that would mandate that absentee ballots must be turned in by 8 p.m. on Election Day, rather than Friday after the election stated in current law.
Berceau attempted to include the provision in an omnibus election regulations bill in mid-2013. While the compromise bill eventually passed out of committee, that measure eventually failed due to lack of support among Republicans in the legislature — the compromise also included raising campaign finance donation limits and other tweaks that not all legislators agreed with.
Another problem was that it came in the middle of legal wrangling over Voter ID. LeMahieu said that while he wasn’t around for that battle, it makes sense to move on the online voter registration piece now that voter ID is in place.
Full Article: Wis. bill allows online voter registraiton.