Three controversial bills will have a joint committee hearing by the Senate and Assembly elections committees on Tuesday, October 13, 9AM in Room 412E of the State Capitol. Contact your state Senator and Assembly Representative as soon as possible and urge them to vote NO on these bills.
SB 294/AB 388 – This bill would disband the nonpartisan Wisconsin Government Accountability Board and replace it with two separate boards to oversee elections and government ethics – and neither board would have any teeth. The boards would have a structure similar to that of the Federal Elections Commission, with an even split of members appointed by each of the two major political parties. That is a recipe for deadlock and dysfunction. The bill would take Wisconsin back to the type of partisan appointee system that resulted in the Legislative Caucus Scandal of 2002 which sent legislative leaders of both parties to prison on felony counts.
AB 387/SB 292 – This bill would permit campaign coordination between candidates and outside special interest spending groups. That practice was strictly prohibited for decades in Wisconsin, until the State Supreme Court in July said such coordination was permissible. That court decision, which is likely to be successfully appealed, is an outlier in the nation. The bill would make contribution limits meaningless because supporters of candidates would be able to anonymously contribute or spend unlimited money on a phony issue ad communication.
SB 295/AB 389 provides for electronic voter registration for citizens with a Wisconsin driver license or state ID card – but it also eliminates Special Registration Deputies (SRDs). While the League of Women Voters strongly supports the concept of online voter registration, we are not willing to trade the SRD program. The League registers voters year-round through the SRD program, which makes a huge difference for elderly, minority and disabled voters, as well as new citizens. Other SRDs are librarians, teachers and other concerned citizens who wish to make voting accessible to all eligible citizens. These registrations reduce the workload of our municipal clerks, who have many other duties to carry out.
For contact information for your legislators, go to: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/ and enter your address near the map of Wisconsin under the heading Find My Legislators.
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