Wisconsin voters with disabilities oppose election law changes

Published: May. 12, 2021 at 4:01 PM CDT|Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin voters with disabilities are urging lawmakers to reconsider two bills passed in the state Senate Tuesday that would make it more difficult to cast absentee ballots.

The first bill would prohibit any non-family members or legal guardian from returning a completed absentee ballot for another person. The second measure would bar election officials from filling out missing voter information or making corrections to the absentee ballot certificates.

Those with disabilities, such as Stephanie Birmingham of Sturgeon Bay, and advocates say it puts people with disabilities at a disadvantage.

“What you cant see, what you don’t know is my reality of being a non-driver and that I have a bone conditions and that I vote absentee,” said Birmingham. “That is a way that I am able to participate in our democratic process… these bills that have unfortunately been passed are true limits and barriers to my fundamental civil right.”

The bill’s sponsor, Republican state senator Duey Stroebel, said voters can still return an absentee ballot by mail and other states have more restrictive laws.

Both bills must still clear the Assembly and be signed by Gov. Tony Evers before becoming law. Evers is expected to veto them, but opponents say they are worried about them coming back years later.

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