February 9, 2016 

Statement from Senator Chris Larson on Reducing Voter Registration Access

MADISON – Senator Chris Larson issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 295, which will reduce access to voter registration.

“Since taking office in 2011, Governor Walker has cynically signed into law numerous policies that seek to suppress transparency and voter access in Wisconsin. Now, yet another self-serving Republican proposal that seeks to disenfranchise voters may soon reach the governor’s hasty pen. The proposal, which passed along party lines today, gets rid of Special Registration Deputies and blocks local municipal clerks from doing what they do best: assisting the public in registering to vote though voter registration drives.

“By eliminating specifically trained volunteers and municipal clerks from helping people get registered to vote, Senate Bill 295 is a direct attack on proactive voter access. Wisconsin used to be renowned for our progressive approach to voting access and, because of this, our state has historically enjoyed one of the highest percentages of voter turnout in the country. The constant attacks on voter access by Republican legislators is a betrayal of our shared Wisconsin values of open government and encouraging citizen involvement through voting. Rather than restricting voter registration efforts, we should encourage greater voter participation, increase election turnout and empower Wisconsin citizens to take part in their democracy.

“This bill is another dark chapter in the culture of corruption crafted by Walker and legislative Republicans, who have already made it harder for our neighbors to fully participate in our democracy. The GOP is eroding our rights and democracy one bill at a time.”