Wisconsin lawmakers discuss proposed changes regarding election integrity

Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 5:01 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin Republicans and Democrats are sounding off on proposed changes regarding election integrity after some say they’re needed following the November election.

Those proposed changes include the following:

  • Require absentee voters to submit an identification for every election instead of having one on file
  • Require absentee voters to fill out a separate application in the clerk’s office
  • Require voters who are under the age of 65 who say they’re “Indefinitely confined” to provide proof from a medical professional
  • Prohibit cities from accepting private donations to help run their elections

Sunday morning on UPFRONT, which airs on WBAY-TV, two of Wisconsin’s senators sounded off on the proposed changes.

Republicans argue change is needed to restore the trust of Americans, while Democrats argue the proposals create voter suppression.

“These bills are built out of fear in rhetoric. If what we want to do is ensure that people do believe in the security of our elections, we need to stop spinning the stories that are coming forward by our previous president and his administration,” said Wisconsin Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison.) “People from the Trump Administration, as well as the Biden Administration, come forward and say that these elections were fair, free and secure. This is a nationwide effort to provide voter suppression and to make it harder for people to vote.”

“If you go to default to voter suppression and redistrict the vote, that’s just avoiding the discussion. It’s avoiding the debate, it’s really a cop out,” said Wisconsin Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg). “I, and the Capitol as a whole, we’ve gotten thousands of calls concerned with the integrity of our elections. And even before 2020, there was a Gallup poll that said 59% of the people in this country are concerned about the integrity of their elections. So, there are things we need to be doing here and instead of just saying ‘nothing to see here’, no, there is something to see here.”

CLICK HERE to read that Gallup poll.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has hinted he will veto this package of bills.

Sunday’s discussion on UPFRONT came on the same day President Joe Biden signed an executive order to expand voting access.

RELATED: Biden marks Bloody Sunday by signing voting rights order

Biden’s order directs the heads of all federal agencies to submit proposals for their respective agencies to promote voter registration and participation within 200 days.

The president’s order comes just days after the House passed a sweeping ethics and election package that aimed at ensuring voting rights.

That package also has provisions expanding early and mail-in voting, restoring voting rights to former felons, and easing voter registration for eligible Americans.

RELATED: House passes sweeping voting rights bill over GOP opposition

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