Battle over same-day voter registration continues - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Battle over same-day voter registration continues


MADISON (WKOW) -- On the heels of record voter turnout in Wisconsin, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi says eliminating the state's same-day voter registration would be a huge mistake.

"That's why we're going to be moving for a referendum on the Dane County ballot this spring, and we hope other counties will do the same so that the people's voice can be heard regarding same-day registration," said Parisi.

That would be only an advisory referendum, but Parisi says it is an important gesture after Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) expressed a desire to see same-day registration eliminated while speaking at the Ronald Reagan Library in California last month.

"I had the elimination of same-day voter registration drafted last session," said Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc). "I am gonna re-draft it this session."

Rep. Kleefisch says he believes same-day registration leads to voter fraud.

The President of Wisconsin's League of Women Voters disagrees.

"There have been no cases of fraud related to same-day registration and its cost-effective, it saves tax dollars," said LWV President Andrea Kaminski.

If same-day registration is scrapped, it would result in the federal Motor Voter Law going into effect in Wisconsin.

"Motor Voter would be part of the system, which means that when you get your driver's license, you go through the DMV and you register to vote," said Rep. Kleefisch.  "It seems like a very simple way to make sure you're on the voting rolls."

"The last thing we need is bigger crowds at the DMV," countered Parisi, who said DMV employees have no training in registering people to vote.

"The incidences of mistakes being made goes up dramatically when you have people doing that registration who are not used to doing it," said Scott McDonell, Dane County Clerk-Elect.

If approved by the Dane County Board, the advisory referendum would be on the ballot in April.

But, the legislature may have already voted to eliminate same-day registration by then.

Gov. Walker called the debate over the issue ridiculous, because it's not part of his legislative agenda, but said he would sign legislation eliminating same-day registration if it came to his desk.

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