Online Voter Registration Bill Introduced To Assembly


Wisconsin residents could register to vote online under a bill being introduced by a Democratic state lawmaker.

The proposal from Rep. Terese Berceau (D-Madison) would open up online voter registration to residents 18 or older with a driver’s license or state-issued ID. Under the bill, they could log on to a website run by Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board and enter the same information required on a paper registration form. The electronic signature on their license would then be treated the same as pen on paper.

Berceau says Wisconsin government should meet people where they’re at: online.

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“There are a lot of people of every age using computers, but it really is an expectation of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, that they’re going to be able to do something over the Internet.”

Under Berceau’s bill, online registration would be open to voters up to 20 days before an election.

While the system would be new in Wisconsin, it’s hardly a novel idea elsewhere in the country.

Says David Becker, director of election initiatives at Pew Charitable Trusts: “The experience has been pretty much uniformly positive.”

Becker says 13 states already have online registration and several others have recently passed laws authorizing it.Becker says the systems save money and are more accurate compared to paper registration because there’s no handwriting to contend with, and the forms are cross-checked against other government databases: “States that have put online registration systems in effect actually will say that the potential for fraud has been reduced.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington) spokeswoman Kit Beyer says Vos is still reviewing the legislation.Beyer says Vos supports administrative efficiencies but his main priority is to protect the integrity of elections.