Despite ongoing attempts by the state’s Republicans and conservative groups to limit voters access, the Wisconsin Elections Commission voted Wednesday to send information on how to request an absentee ballot is being sent to approximately 2.7 million registered voters.
It is important to note that the mailer only explains the process that can be used to request an absentee ballot; it doesn’t provide ballots.
The WEC voted unanimously Wednesday to go ahead with the mailing, after a Republican member of the WEC, Robert Spindler Jr., objected to the wording of the mailer at a WEC meeting on June 10. Specifically, Spindler wanted a question added to the mailer that would ask if the voter were a citizen.
He reluctantly backed off only after the WEC chair, Ann Jacobs, pointed out that by definition, registered voters are citizens and that in order to be registered, proof of citizenship had to be provided.
Ahead of the vote, GOP legislator Rick Gundrum, Slinger, sent a letter to the WEC complaining about the cost (estimated at $2.5 million). He did not point out that the mailer is not being paid for with Wisconsin taxes. It will be funded by $2.2 million of the $7.3 million given to the Commission by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
He also said the mailer would lead to voter confusion. The Republican further suggested that each Wisconsin municipality should decide on its own how to address the issues associated with mail-in voting.
Hmm, so he thinks having a different set of rules in each of the state’s 190 cities and 410 villages makes more sense and would be less confusing?
Republicans have also attempted to block voters who are having problems voting because of the COVID-19 pandemic, or who have access, health or disability related issues, from receiving assistance.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed a petition with the WEC on June 8 to stop voters from receiving the assistance, which it said would lead to “vote harvesting.”
Among those opposing the petition was the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, which called the petition a “a solution in search of a problem.”
The WEC on Wednesday denied the petition.