GOP Legislators Ignore Experts to Carry On the ‘Big Lie’

MADISON – For the third straight day this week, Republican legislators continued perpetuating Donald Trump’s “big lie” about the November 2020 election.

The Senate Committee on Elections, Election Process Reform and Ethics Committee today held a public hearing on Senate Bills 204, 205 and 211. These three bills make changes to Wisconsin’s absentee voting laws, which will create substantial barriers to voting, especially for the elderly and people with disabilities. These proposals have widespread opposition from local clerks, good government watchdog organizations and statewide aging and disability rights advocacy groups.

Senate Bill 204 requires indefinitely confined voters to provide a photo ID with their absentee ballot request for every election. This bill also ends the automatic mailing of absentee ballots. Senate Bill 205 jeopardizes senior citizens’ right to cast a private ballot in an assisted living facilities and prevents staff from helping individuals understand and exercise their constitutional right to vote. Senate Bill 211 adds an extra, unnecessary form for Wisconsin voters to complete to have their vote counted through the absentee voting process.

Senator Jeff Smith (D – Brunswick), the Ranking member of the Senate Committee on Elections, Election Process Reform and Ethics released the following statement on today’s public hearing:

“Absentee voting is a safe, reliable and universally accepted method for citizens to participate in our democratic process. Republicans’ anti-voting efforts are dangerously weakening confidence in this process. These bills make it harder for Wisconsinites to vote, especially the elderly and citizens with disabilities. To make matters worse, Republicans are knowingly ignoring the advice of clerks and advocates in order to disenfranchise voters and rig elections in their favor. 

“It’s appalling to see the lengths the Republican Majority is willing to go to change Wisconsin’s election laws just because they’re unhappy with last year’s election results. Instead of stripping away voting rights, Republicans should join the overwhelming amount of support to pass nonpartisan redistricting reform so we stop the lies and elect leaders who support the right to vote.”

Senator Kelda Roys (D-Madison) added the following statement: 

“While Republican legislators double down on the Big Lie to gain even more illegitimate power and restrict our right to vote, I will continue to call out their lies and defend our freedom to vote.”