The state would implement online registration for voters by the spring of 2017 and forbid Milwaukee officials from moving forward with a plan to provide local IDs, under bills approved by a Senate committee Wednesday. Republicans on the Senate Elections Committee approved the registration proposal, SB295, on a party-line 3-2 vote. As rewritten by a late-breaking amendment, the bill would in turn make a number of changes to state elections law. By another 3-2 vote, the panel also approved a separate proposal, SB533, that would prohibit county and town governments from issuing — or spending money on — photo identification cards. That legislation would also make it even more clear that photo ID cards issued by cities or villages could not be used for things like voting or obtaining public benefits, such as food stamps.
Under the registration bill, citizens could register online to vote if they have a current and valid state driver’s license or ID card and if they use the same name for voter registration that they use on their state license or ID.
At the same time, the proposal would eliminate the use of special registration deputies by political parties or nonprofits to help citizens sign up to vote. Those workers and groups could still potentially use an iPad or other device in public places and help citizens use it to sign themselves up to vote in real time.
The League of Women Voters sent out an alert to members Wednesday opposing the bill, saying it backed the idea of online sign-ups but the measure would prevent it from continuing its voter registration drives.
Full Article: Bills to allow online voter registration, bar local IDs.