Senator Chris Larson is working to ensure everyone’s voice counts at the ballot box and expand voting rights after years of Republican-led voter suppression in Wisconsin.

 

VOTING RIGHTS

 

Whether you agree or disagree with me, your voice matters most when you have it heard at the ballot box.

As Thomas Jefferson said, "We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate."

Your vote is your voice, but under Governor Walker, votes - especially in minority communities - were intentionally suppressed. Nearly 17,000 registered Wisconsin voters were kept from the polls in November 2016 by harsh and racist voter ID laws.

My office has recently received questions about how the REAL ID (which begins Oct. 1, 2020) will affect voting in November of 2020. You do not need a REAL ID to vote, but you do need an acceptable photo ID.

Voting rights are under attack in our state. Wisconsin is one of only 17 states that requires a photo ID to vote, suppressing segments of our community from voting.  Republicans continue to fight - at taxpayer expense - to ensure certain voters are suppressed (thus giving themselves a partisan political advantage).  We must work towards ensuring that every citizen has a voice in our government.

Here is the current legislation I have sponsored or support to expand voting rights.

SB228 and its companion AB303, Nonpartisan Redistricting: ensures that voters pick their elected officials; elected officials don't pick their voters. This is currently waiting for a hearing in the Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection.

SB159, Automatic Voter Registration: ensures (with an opt-out provision) that eligible voters are registered upon receiving a driver's license. This is currently waiting for a hearing in the Committee on Elections, Ethics and Rural Issues.

SB293 and its companion AB309, Keeps Eligible Voters Eligible: maintain the registration of all eligible electors for so long as they remain eligible; ensures that voters are not taken off the rolls arbitrarily. This is currently waiting for a hearing in the Committee on Elections, Ethics and Rural Issues.

SB348 and its companion AB477, Restoring Voting Rights: restores the right to vote to certain persons barred from voting as a result of a felony conviction. This is currently waiting for a hearing in the Committee on Insurance, Financial Services, Government Oversight and Courts.

SB246 and its companion AB168, Making Voting Easier: a voter would not be required to state his or her name and address if the voter is unable to do so. This passed unanimously out of committee is waiting to be scheduled for a vote by the Majority Leader.

SB307 and its companion AB320, Expanding Voting Rights: extends voting rights to 17-year-olds to vote in a primary if they will be of voting age by the general election. This bill is currently waiting for a hearing in the Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection.

SB242 and its companion AB247, Clarifying Voting Procedures: the Wisconsin Elections Commission has requested clarification on procedures related to absentee voting and voting procedures. The Senate bill passed unanimously out of committee and is waiting to be scheduled for a vote by the Majority Leader.

SB193 and its companion AB203. Direct Balloting: allows an individual to cast their in-person absentee ballot directly into the voting machine. The senate bill passed out of committee and is waiting to be scheduled for a vote by the Majority Leader.

SB197 and its companion AB185, Removing Electoral College: entering into an agreement among the states to elect the president of the United States by means of a national popular vote. The bill is currently waiting for a hearing in the Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal Relations.

 

The legis.wisconsin.gov website list includes a list of all of the legislation I’ve introduced this session, where you can search for legislation based on keyword, topic, or bill number, and see committee schedules.