Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (G.A.B), the nonpartisan state government agency that administers the state’s elections, has released a report detailing the cost to taxpayers that would result from eliminating Election Day registration (E.D.R.) in the state. E.D.R. allows eligible individuals with proof of residence to register to vote at their polling place on Election Day.
A controversial gubernatorial recall election was held this past Tuesday. Of the estimated 3.5 million registered voters in Wisconsin, nearly 2.5 million voted. However, there were several reports of voters receiving misleading voting information and confusion over new laws passed last year by the legislature. Given these reports, did every voter who wanted to vote get the chance to vote?
The issue of strict photo ID laws has been a very contentious one in the past few years. Proponents of these laws claim they are necessary to deter alleged fraud and ensure confidence in the system. However, in-person voter impersonation fraud (the only type that a strict ID law could prevent) is essentially non-existant.
Today, the Michigan legislature is holding a hearing on the Safe and Fair Elections Initiative that would restrict community-based voter registration, require photo IDs, and require voters to answer a citizenship question in order to vote.
The biggest story in voting rights this week is news out of Texas that the Justice Department had blocked the state’s new voter ID law. On Thursday, an amended complaint was filed in the case which directly challenged Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
When defenders of voter ID laws stand up and say that the regulations protect their citizens and our democracy, there’s more than one lie being told. First, rather than protect our democracy, voter ID laws actually disproportionally affect the rights of elderly, working, student, and minority voters. Second, the laws, which are aimed at curbing the yet-to-be-seen problem of “voter fraud” will actually cost tax payers millions and millions of dollars to implement. Taking a look at the numbers shows a side of voter ID laws that their supporters fail to mention.