(The Center Square) – There is traditional support for and opposition against a series of constitutional amendments that deal with voting in Wisconsin.
The Joint Senate Shared Revenue, Elections and Consumer Protection and Assembly Campaigns and Elections Committees held a public hearing Tuesday on three amendments.
● Senate Joint Resolution 71 / Assembly Joint Resolution 76 sets the voting age at 18, and limits voting in Wisconsin to only US citizens.
● Senate Joint Resolution 73 / Assembly Joint Resolution 78 enshrines voter ID in the Wisconsin Constitution.
● Senate Joint Resolution 78 / Assembly Joint Resolution 77 prohibits the use of outside money from being used in state elections.
“Just three short years ago almost everyone in Wisconsin would have thought this was unimaginable, falling into the conspiracy range for anyone who dared to suggest that this is even remotely possible,” citizen Jerry Mullins told lawmakers. “Unfortunately with countless documented cases of massive election fraud that clearly affected the outcome of past elections, the voters will finally be given a voice in how they want the administration of their elections to be processed in 2024 and beyond without the interference of outside money and non-citizens of the United States.”
The voting age and private money plans have both passed through the legislature before, meaning they could go before voters November 2024 on the statewide ballot.
The voter ID proposal would have to pass through the legislature again.
Voter Katherine Bertelli, who has worked is a poll worker in the past, said the voter ID protections are especially needed to stop the new liberal majority Wisconsin Supreme Court from eliminating any voter ID requirements for future elections.
“We really need to make our elections secure,” she said.
But advocates, like Jamie Lynn Crofts with Wisconsin Voices, warned three proposed amendments would make it too hard for some people in the state to vote.
“It’s already incredibly difficult to vote in Wisconsin,” Crofts told lawmakers. “Wisconsin used to be a model of how to make the voting process easy. In 1996 we were ranked fourth in the country, today we’re ranked 47th.”
Wisconsin lawmakers approved a voter ID law in Wisconsin in 2011, but it didn’t take effect until 2015 when the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
State Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, pushed back on Crofts’ claim, saying Wisconsin goes out of its way to allow people to vote.
“I think in Wisconsin we actually have a good voter ID program, because if you tell somebody that you can’t afford your birth certificate guess what? You’ll get it for free. If you tell him that you can’t afford your ID, guess what? You get it for free,” Tittl said. “I don’t know how much simpler you can get and how much less costly you can get, unless you get paid to actually do it. But I don’t think we’re going to do that.”