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Early voting lame-duck bill sounds good to Gov. Walker, maybe not to courts

Mitch Reynolds

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Even if early voting is changed in Wisconsin, they may not last.

Gov. Scott Walker is considering, among other bills passed in a lame duck legislative session, one that would restrict early absentee voting to the two weeks before an election.

It’s similar to a law enacted by Republicans previously that was struck down by a federal judge. Walker, however, clearly sounds like he’s going to sign the bill into law anyway.

“The idea that in some communities it’s a couple weeks and in other communities it’s twice or three times as long, I think is a legitimate concern,” Walker said.

The bill is largely seen as begin aimed at Democratic strongholds, like Madison and Milwaukee, that hold early voting up to six weeks before an election.  

“People who live in communities where they’re not able to afford to do longer, early voting, I think it’s reasonable to expect that early voting should be uniform,” Walker said.

The current bill also doesn’t change the flexibility local clerks have in setting hours for early voting, meaning Walker’s argument for uniformity won’t necessarily play out in practice.  

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