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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

 5:22 PM 

Senate passes bill removing registration procedures for high schools and tribal schools

After making short work of a series of minor bills, the Senate got wrapped up in debate over a bill that would remove requirements and procedures for voter registration at high schools and tribal schools with a significant number of eligible voters in a municipality. The bill passed on party line vote of 17-16.

Democrats originally objected to third reading of the bill before then moving backward and trying to refer the bill back to the Senate committee on transportation and elections. That motion failed along party lines.

Democrats argued it was just another way to take away voting rights from Wisconsin citizens. Sen. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, said that constituents simply felt that the burden of voter registration should not be placed on high schools.

Lazich also pointed out testimony from the Fond Du Lac County Clerk pointing out a situation in which 80 students at a local high school registered to vote, but only five ended up voting.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, retorted by saying "So what?" He said that because they're busy during school and after-school sports, registering at school is the only way they can reasonably register.

"The fact is they're 18 years old," Erpenbach said. "The fact is they're qualified to vote. The fact is that they need to be registered to vote."


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