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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

 10:16 AM 

Senate approves new standards for early voting over Dem objections

The Senate voted 17-16 to impose statewide standards for early voting hours as Dems denounced the move as an attempt to make it harder to vote.

The bill would limit “early voting” to between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday leading up to an election. A municipality would also be limited to 45 hours per week of accepting the in-person absentee ballots. 

Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, likened the effort to trying to halt progress. He said people don't have the same family or work structures as they did 50 years ago and need more flexibility to vote considering their time demands.

"The point is when you can’t get to the polls, when are you going to have the opportunity to vote? Are we going to make it easy or hard? This bill makes it hard," Miller said.

Dems suggested Republicans were trying to drive down turnout ahead of this fall's election, when Gov. Scott Walker is up for re-election.

No Republicans stood to speak on the bill during the debate.



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