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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

 12:42 PM 

Senate passes elections bills

After quickly moving through the confirmations and first 10 bills on its agenda, the Senate began debating a series of bills related to elections.

SB 262, which establishes requirements for duplicate ballots, passed 22-11.

SB 264, which stipulates processes for securing ballot containers, passed 19-14.

Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, backed the proposal while acknowledging the controversy over ballot bags in Racine during in the course of his recall election win. Lehman also said, however, that the bill should not implicate the state’s local election officials.

Other Dems, however, said that no fraud was found in that election and that lawmakers shouldn’t be micromanaging clerks.

“Legislation like this just infers that there’s corruption that the local level, which there’s not,” said Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton.

Sen. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin and the bill’s author, countered that she saw “a number of irregularities” when observing recall election, and that chief inspectors should be handling those containers.

And SB 265, which requires equal representation among election inspectors affiliated with political parties, passed 18-15.

“What’s the point? Why is this here?” asked Erpenbach.

“Where is the trust for the inspectors to do the job they are supposed to do?”


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