Assembly to vote on recall election requirement
MADISON — Recalling the governor and others from office in Wisconsin would be more difficult, in-person absentee voting hours would be restricted and photo identification would be required to cast a ballot under a flurry of divisive measures the state Assembly plans to pass Thursday.
The elections bills aren't the only hot-button issues the Republican-controlled chamber plans to approve on its final session day of the year. Also slated for passage are proposals limiting the public's access to a proposed iron ore site in northern Wisconsin and undoing the 124-year-old practice of having the most senior member of the state Supreme Court serve as chief justice.
Democrats oppose the proposals and plan to push debate into the early morning hours Friday, but they don't have the votes to stop the bills.
Instead, Democrats plan to use the opportunity to argue that Republicans' priorities are misplaced.
"The Assembly Republicans are concerned about lowering the voter turnout as opposed to creating jobs," said Democratic Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa of Milwaukee. "The problem in Wisconsin is not too many people voting; it is too few people working."
Assembly Republicans have been leading the charge on the elections issues. The Assembly is voting on requiring photo ID at the polls, even though the Republican leader of the Senate said he won't take up the measure while current law is tied up in the courts.
It's also unclear how much support there is in the Republican-led Senate for the other elections proposals being voted on Thursday, including one that limits in-person absentee voting hours. No one has registered in support of the idea, but its opponents include the cities of Milwaukee and Madison, the League of Women Voters, and the Wisconsin Towns Association.