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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

 11:19 AM 

Senate approves election observer standards

The Senate has concurred in AB 202, which would establish standards for observers at polling places on Election Day, 17-16.

The bill, under an Assembly amendment, would require election officials to designate an area for election observers between three feet and eight feet from the table where electors register to vote.

Dems argued the bill tacitly supports voter intimidation, particularly in urban areas and wards populated by college students.

"What we're doing is basically empowering people to be bad actors at these elections," said Sen Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said the measure would lead to "profiling, tension, yelling, police -- in that order."

"The clerks should be deciding how far," Erpenbach said. "The clerks should be running the elections. That's what they do; not us."

Sen. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, countered that the three- to eight-foot window "provides adequate flexibility" for clerks and that the bill retains their ability to eject unruly observers.


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