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Wisconsin Senate passes bills making it harder to vote

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 9:11 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 7:11 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Senate has approved several Republican-backed election bills.

The measures would create new hurdles for the elderly and disabled to cast absentee ballots, limit the number and location of ballot drop boxes and impose new penalties for violating election law.

All of the measures are almost certain to be vetoed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who has said he opposes anything that makes it more difficult to vote.

Speaker Robin Vos said preventing ballot harvesting is a big concern.

“If there was a compromise where we could get Governor Evers to work with us and say OK, we want to limit the drop boxes so we can say who can access them, what is the process after they open up the ballot box to make sure they’re safely transported and to make sure there’s no ability to do anything nefarious,” said Vos.

The proposals are among more than a dozen election-related changes that Republicans are pushing this year after former President Donald Trump’s narrow defeat in the battleground state.

Seventeen faith organizations and 88 leaders spoke out against these proposals Wednesday, as well. Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice say they are targeting minority groups, who had record turnouts during the last election. Opponents to the measures also say the bills create unfair burdens at the ballot box.

“It will make it more difficult for voters with disabilities and elderly individuals who are confined in their homes,” said Reverend Karla Garcia. “I think that this is very oppressive and goes against our constitution by allowing the least of these to have access to voting.”

The measures will now move to the Assembly to be considered.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.