Axing same-day registration in Wis. would cost $5M
MADISON Doing away with same-day voter registration in Wisconsin would cost nearly $5.2 million initially, and nearly $1 million every year after that, state elections officials said in a memo that comes as talk of changing the law heats up.
The report from the Government Accountability Board delivered to lawmakers on Friday came after two Republicans said they will introduce a proposal next year to repeal Wisconsin's law allowing voters to register at the polls. Such a move would make the whole process of voting more complex and costly, the GAB said. The state would have to make changes that include offering new ways for people to register to vote.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker said earlier this month he would sign such a bill, but it's not a priority for him and he won't be pushing the issue in the Legislature. His spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster said Tuesday that any issue like eliminating same-day voter registration that is outside of his five priorities is a "distraction."
Republican Senate President Mike Ellis stressed Tuesday that GOP senators haven't discussed the issue yet.
The legislative session begins Jan. 7.
Wisconsin, which has had same-day registration since 1976, is one of eight states allowing it. California and Connecticut have approved it, but the laws have not yet taken effect.
The law is often cited as one reason Wisconsin is a leader in voter turnout. About 70 percent of Wisconsin's voting-age population cast ballots in the November presidential election.