Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wisconsin Early Voting Hours Should Be Uniform

This legislation is long overdue in Wisconsin.

If you don't live in Milwaukee or Madison, your opportunity to vote early is dramatically reduced.

That's wrong.

Early voting hours should be standard throughout the state. This really is a no-brainer. Of course, voting hours should be uniform.

People living in smaller communities and rural areas should not be penalized when it comes to voting opportunities. At present, they are.

Naturally, the Leftists are whining that Republicans are trying to disenfranchise minorities.

What a crock!

Read how the issue is presented in the Washington Post: "Wisconsin moves closer to cuts in early voting hours."

The Wisconsin state Senate on Tuesday will take up a measure to cut early voting hours during weekend days, a move Democrats say will make it harder for urban voters to cast ballots.

The bill would open early voting sites at county clerks’ offices on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Clerks’ offices would be prohibited from remaining open later at night or on weekends, when party activists have been most successful at driving voters to the polls.

Republican backers of the proposed legislation say standardizing early voting hours statewide would give equal access to voters in both urban areas and in more sparsely populated rural counties, where clerks sometimes don’t have the resources to keep their offices open late.
The headline stresses that "urban voters" will see a cut in their early voting hours.

Instead, the headline should read, "Wisconsin moves closer to equalizing early voting hours for all."

That's what is really happening.

Voters must have equal access when it comes to casting ballots. At present. there is not equal access. That's unacceptable.

“It is important that we do something toward establishing uniformity for early voting around the state,” state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R), the bill’s lead sponsor, told the MacIver News Service, a conservative-leaning think tank.

Democrats, though, say the limited hours mean voters who work during the week would be disenfranchised.

“I am not comfortable with a standard that treats a community that has 50 people or 500 people the same as Milwaukee that has more than half a million people,” state Sen. Lena Taylor (D) told MacIver.

We should all be treated equally, Lena.

People in small communities and rural areas are being disenfranchised. It's so clear. They work during the week, too. But, they don't have extended hours to vote.

That's flat-out unjust.

This legislation is not an effort to discourage voting. It's an effort to grant everyone equal access.

That's what this is about.

I don't care if early voting hours are extended or cut, but they must be the same for all voters in the state.