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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

 8:02 PM 

Debate over voter ID rages on

Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald said victims of voter fraud are getting forgotten by Dems in the debate over this bill.

Fitzgerald told a story about a elderly Romanian immigrant who testified at a committee hearing years ago who said she went to the polls to vote only to be told by the election clerk that she had already voted.

"Someone had stolen her identity," Fitzgerald said.

"I know you all want to act like this doesn't happen. It happens," Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, said. "That is a travesty to have your vote stolen from you."

Fitzgerald said a voter ID requirement is popular with Wisconsin residents, calling it "an 80 percent issue."

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, who was at the same committee hearing years ago said he remembered it differently. He recalled that a student came to the committee hearing claiming to vote twice, but a thorough investigation found the claim to be a lie.

He said a poll official testified at the hearing that the Romanian woman's identity theft was clerical error, "a loose pencil and someone accidentally checked someone's name off."

"We have one of the most clean election systems, without doubt, in the country," Pocan said.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, said he will support legislation aimed at curbing voter fraud. But he said this bill is like "using a sledgehammer to put a simple tack in the wall."

During Fitzgerald's comments, a young man in the gallery shouted something and ran out. Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Kramer has already twice warned those in the gallery not to make any outward displays of support or opposition.

So far, the Assembly has dispensed with 29 of the 50 amendments in the queue.


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