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As I See It

Make it easier, not harder, to vote



The election was rigged. We heard that throughout the course of the recent presidential campaign. It wasn’t true of course. There is no evidence of millions of illegal immigrants casting ballots, or felons voting in droves. But, as it turns out, there were many ballots which were cast in Wisconsin, but which were never counted. That is because of a new state law, which requires absentee ballots to be received by election day. Previously, absentee ballots only had to be postmarked by election day. This was the first major election with the earlier deadline in place, and a number of potential Wisconsin voters missed it. 1028 absentee ballots cast in Wisconsin in the November election were received late, and thrown out. That is more than double the number of late ballots from the 2012 presidential contest. This new law is part of a series of efforts by our lawmakers to make it harder to vote in Wisconsin. They reduced opportunities for early voting, tried to get rid of special registration deputies and have made us show an ID in order to exercise our right to vote. Now the state has thrown out more than 1000 ballots from legal voters, many of whom, given the contentious nature of the election, may have waited until the last minute to decide for whom they would cast their ballot. If we really want to ensure the election is not rigged, and that every vote counts, we should be making it easier for people to vote, not harder.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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