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Democrats push for automatic registration bill after budget writing committee removes proposal

MADISON (WKOW) — Democratic lawmakers re-introduced a bill for automatic voter registration after Republicans on the joint finance committee removed the policy item from Gov. Tony Evers budget proposal.

In April, the Republican-controlled budget-writing committee voted to remove over 70 proposals in Gov. Evers biennium budget including; medical marijuana, raising the minimum wage, drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants and automatic voter registration.

Representative David Crowley (D-Milwaukee) and Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) hosted a press conference with Governor Evers to implementation of statewide automatic voter registration (AVR).

“The cornerstone of democracy and representative governance is the belief of the people in the legitimacy of free and fair elections,” stated Rep. Crowley.

Getting the bill through the Republican controlled state Assembly and Senate will be an uphill battle. Democrats also attempted to push automatic voter registration legislation in 2015.

Rep. Crowley and Sen. Hansen say their legislation will reduce potential barriers that individuals may face in registering to vote and restore the public’s faith in representative government.

“There were bipartisan efforts that expanded early and absentee voting, and voter registration,” said Senator Hansen. “Then in 2011 things changed.  Instead of working together to make it easier for people to vote and to register to vote, Republicans passed more and more changes to the law designed to suppress voter participation.”

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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