If Gov. Scott Walker signs a bill restricting early voting in the state, he may be going against the wishes of the majority of state residents, according to the latest Marquette University poll.
The bill would limit early voting to 45 hours a week for two weeks before an election, and eliminate weekend voting.
A Marquette University poll of 800 registered votes has found that 27 percent support the current two weeks and one weekend made available for early voting. Another 39 percent want a three-week, three-weekend system that would be similar to what the state had before Republicans limited early voting two years ago.
Marquette pollster Charles Franklin says that adds up to 66 percent of survey participants supporting early voting as it is, or wanting more.
“We asked the question to try to get at people’s preferences for how they want to vote – not to frame it as part of partisan advantage or disadvantage,” said Franklin. “So when asked that way, it’s clear that a substantial segment of the population would prefer more extended voting hours.”
The polls shows that 12 percent of people would support reducing early voting.
Franklin said the poll did not address Republican claims that the bill would equalize voting opportunity across the state, or Democrats' contention the measure would harm voters in large communities.
Events criticizing the proposed early voting limits are scheduled for Thursday in Madison and Milwaukee.