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As I See It

Fewer, not more, hurdles needed for voting



We all shook our heads in disappointment after seeing such a poor turnout in La Crosse’s last election. Barely one quarter of the city’s eligible voters turned out to vote. We wish more people would take part in forming our governments. That is why it is disappointing to see our lawmakers in Madison trying so hard to make it harder to vote. They have introduced a slew of proposals, each of them making it more burdensome to exercise our fundamental right. One would prohibit the Wisconsin Elections Commission from sending out absentee ballot applications en masse to registered voters. These mailings encourage people to vote, and help ensure safe voting. Another would require those who are indefinitely confined or living overseas to request an absentee ballot for each and every election. Currently they receive their ballots automatically. Yet another idea of Wisconsin legislators would be to make it illegal for staff at residential care centers and group homes to encourage residents to vote. Under their plan, it would be a felony to offer to help a resident fill out their ballot. They couldn’t even help those they care for request an absentee ballot. All of these ideas add hurdles to a voting process that runs smoothly and efficiently. We should encourage everyone to vote. We should make it as easy as possible to cast a ballot. These ideas out of Madison do just the opposite.

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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