A coalition of voter-rights advocates, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Ald. Milele Coggs and community leaders, expressed opposition Tuesday to a proposed Assembly bill that would trim hours for in-person absentee voting. The group also urged city voters to turn out on April 2 and vote yes on an advisory referendum in favor of same-day voter registration. The referendum asks voters: “Should the State of Wisconsin continue to permit citizens to register to vote at the polls on election day?” Barrett and others said Wisconsin has a long and rich tradition of open and accessible voting laws. The Assembly bill threatens that, he and others said.
The bill would limit in-person absentee voting hours to Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., between the third Monday before an election and the Friday before an election. The bill also states that absentee voting sites would not be allowed to remain open more than 40 hours per week. “We should be making the right to vote easier,” Coggs said.
Barrett noted that Reince Priebus, the head of the Republican National Committee, said this week that the party was committed to reaching out to minority voters. But Barrett said it was ironic that, in Wisconsin, Republicans were trying to enact legislation that “makes it more difficult to vote,” especially for people of color.
Rep. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) said he introduced the bill because he wanted to bring “equality and fairness to voting for all.” He said he wanted “equal rules that everybody has to live by.”
Full Article: Opponents speak against bill to limit absentee voting.