This from the AFL CIO:
Voting rights are under attack in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Senate is getting ready to vote on multiple anti-democracy and voter suppression bills on Tuesday, March 11. These bills will promote ‘pay to play’ politics, deny citizens’ access to the ballot and make it more difficult for people to register to vote.
Also, up for a vote on Tuesday are changes to the Milwaukee Mental Health Complex (SB 565). This bill would remove local control over a local institution, a notion that runs afoul to fundamental democratic principles and should frighten communities across the state.
Anti-democracy bills that will expected to go to vote on Tuesday, March 11 as of March 10, 2014 include:
• SB 324: Limits early voting hours allowed by municipalities and removes the option of weekend and evening voting leading up to Election Day. This would end convenient opportunities for working people, the elderly and the disabled to vote prior to Election Day.
• SB 267: Places additional burdens on people who wish to register early and on the municipal clerks who register them by demanding certain documents as proof of residence and that the clerks record 2 or 4 digits of the document account number on voter registration forms. It amounts to an unnecessary hurdle for both voters and clerks.
• SB 655: Pay to Play Politics -- allows lobbyists to donate to politicians during election years even if session is ongoing. This allows lobbyist more time to bribe elected officials and unduly influence state policy.
• AB 396: Restricts absentee voting by residents of certain adult-care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities by placing unnecessary and burdensome notice requirements prior to the absentee voting process. In addition, all voting at certain adult-care facilities must occur in the presence of 2 election officials, one from each political party. Further, if some residents in an assisted living facility vote absentee at the facility, then all residents must vote by absentee at the facility and are disallowed from voting in the clerk's office or by absentee mail ballot.
*Sen. Grothman has introduced an outrageous bill to end same day voter registration in Wisconsin! Allowing citizens to register to vote on Election Day makes our democracy strong and accessible. People who work for a living, move frequently or are voting for the first time can find it burdensome to register to vote prior to Election Day. In Wisconsin, we have a proud tradition of welcoming all citizens to participate in our democracy. Sen. Grothman’s attempt to control the electorate and limit the voting population is transparent and disgusting.
Update on Local Living Wage Preemption: This bill stalled in the state Senate last week with Sen. Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) stating it is “unlikely that it will move through the Senate.” However, Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) has said he and Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) will continue to lobby fellow legislators for support adding that, “in the Legislature you never count on something being dead until session is actually complete.”
Phil Neuenfeldt, President
Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer