Sunday, September 26, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

GOP Lawmakers Propose Restricting Absentee Voting

Play

Wednesday, February 24, 2021   

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin Republicans have proposed a host of changes to absentee voting following last year's election, but they'll face a veto threat from the governor as well as pushback from voting-rights advocates.

The bills, newly introduced this week, would, among other things, require an ID for voting absentee for every election. Current law requires identification only when voting absentee for the first time. They'd also place more restrictions on who can drop off a ballot.

Shauntay Nelson, Wisconsin state director of the nonpartisan group All Voting is Local, said it's clear these bills weren't drafted to help marginalized residents take part in elections.

"When you draft laws," she said, "you have to always think through, 'How does that limit or create access?' And these particular laws limit more than they create access."

The bills' GOP sponsors say they want to restore faith in the election system after former President Donald Trump challenged Wisconsin's results over certain absentee-voting methods, in lawsuits that were rejected by the courts. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has pledged to veto the measures.

One proposal would add requirements for voters younger than age 65 who are confined to their homes, prompting concerns from advocates of people living with disabilities. Nelson said it's time for lawmakers to step out of their comfort zones and their districts, and consult with a variety of voters when drafting these types of laws.

"It becomes really challenging," she said, "because the people are no longer, in some ways, at the center of our activities."

Many other states are seeing similar bills, also filed by GOP lawmakers and viewed as restricting access to voting. There have been other proposals to expand access, including one from Evers to provide funding for automatic voter registration. But it isn't expected to go far in Wisconsin's divided government.

At deadline, the bills had not yet been assigned numbers.

---

Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.


get more stories like this via email

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …


Geothermal energy is produced by drilling deep into the earth's bedrock, pumping in water, and using the resulting steam to generate power. (Utah FORGE)

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Arkansas farmers produce more than 9 billion pounds of rice each year. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

SANTA FE, N.M. -- A New Mexico legislator is optimistic a bill will pass in the 2022 session to prohibit life sentences for juveniles convicted of …

Health and Wellness

LEWISBURG, W. Va. -- Political canvassers and organizers in the state are expecting they will continue to struggle with challenges to traditional …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021