MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Local election clerks and Democrats are fighting a new effort to limit the days-and-hours that Wisconsinites can cast absentee ballots in-person.
Assembly Republican Duey Strobel of Saukville wants to limit the early voting to 40-hours-a-week in the three weeks before an election, 7:30-to-5 Mondays-through-Fridays only.
Strobel’s office says the bill seeks to give folks in smaller communities the same access to absentee voting as those in larger cities which can afford to be open nights-and-weekends.
Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca calls it another GOP anti-democracy measure.
Diane Hermann-Brown, head of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association, says it might force clerks to turn away voters while accepting dog license applications at certain hours.
The Wisconsin Towns Association says some small-town clerks open their offices on nights-and-weekends.
Clerks say it would force more people to vote absentee by mail, thus increasing costs and inconvenience.
Strobel’s office says it will consider flexibility for smaller communities.
Assembly Democrat Sandy Pasch of Shorewood has drafted an opposing bill to allow clerks to set up locations outside city-and-village halls to give voters more convenience.
Early voting is indeed popular. The state Government Accountability Board said over a half-million voters cast absentee ballots in last November’s presidential contest.