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Wisconsin Republicans pitch ‘federal solution’ for state’s election rules

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The Center Square) – A pair of Republican Wisconsin congressmen is pitching what they are calling a “federalist solution” to elections across the country.

Republicans Bryan Steil and Derrick Van Orden this week introduced legislation that would implement some of Wisconsin’s election rules nationwide.

“It gives states the tools they need to improve their elections,” Steil told News Talk 1130 WISN’s Jay Weber on Wednesday.

Steil’s American Confidence in Elections Act would allow states to double check social security numbers against a state’s voter rolls, make it easier for states to use REAL ID to confirm citizenship, stops federal funds from going to states or cities that allow non-citizens to vote and stops non-citizens from voting in Washington, D.C., and makes sure military ballots are counted on time.

Steil said his plan is not a federal takeover of elections across the U.S.

“I am of the belief that federalism, that states running their own elections is the best principle,” Steil explained. “What we do [here] is punish states that don’t follow some pretty obvious principles.”

One of those is voter ID.

Western Wisconsin Congressman Derrick Van Orden is phishing a resolution that he calls the Citizen Vote Protection Act. It would require states to make it clear who is, and who is not a citizen, and not allow non-citizens to vote.

“Over 80 percent of Americans agree that voters should have to show identification to vote – this is the mainstream position,” Van Orden said. “This bill will help strengthen voter confidence and help ensure free, fair, and secure elections.”

Van Orden’s resolution states “It is vital to voter confidence and election integrity that we institute ID reforms to make it easier for election officials to ensure noncitizens do not vote in federal elections.”

“It’s both, kinda the carrot and the stick,” Steil added. “Giving states the opportunity to do this. But making sure that we’re improving the databases that states have to get this right.”

Wisconsin currently requires voter ID for all voters, and the state does not allow non-citizens to vote. But there are questions as to how often, and how accurately, Wisconsin’s election managers cross check the state’s voter rolls.

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