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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

 3:57 PM 

Senate starts debate on more elections bills

After moving through the non-controversial bills, Dems have started debating the merit of various GOP election provisions, though the most contentious provisions aren't even up yet.

Democrats started debating the merit of AB 396, which says special voting deputies must conduct absentee voting at certain nursing homes -- under current law, municipalities are given discretion as to when to dispatch those deputies.

Democrats argue the bill would cut out certain methods by which elderly residents of these homes receive can vote absentee -- such as by mail. They also had concerns about the change in notice for the absentee ballots, which increases from 24 hours to five days.

"By making this more difficult for elderly in the nursing homes...there will be cases where you are disenfranchising these people," said Sen. Julia Lassa, D-Stevens Point.

Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, argued the criticism is overblown and that the measure would likely increase voting by elderly residents given the increase in notice and mandate for SVDs.

That bill passed on an 17-16 vote, with Schultz joining the Dems on that vote.

We're now on to AB 419, which would say write-in votes are generally counted only if there are no certified candidates on the ballot or if a candidate has withdrawn or died before the election takes place.


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