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Online Voter Registration Gets Assembly Nod

Measure Removes Registration Deputies, A Move Criticized By Democrats

Brande Jackson (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A bill to allow online voter registration in Wisconsin passed the state Assembly early Wednesday morning amid criticism that it will effectively eliminate voter registration drives in the state.

The bill would eliminate special registration deputies, who complete a government-approved training program to register people to vote. They’re widely used by groups like the League of Women Voters.

Opponents of the bill said eliminating the deputies would have a chilling effect on voter registration drives.

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Beloit Democratic Rep. Mark Spreitzer said the bill only benefits people with a state-approved ID.

“Online registration is common sense. It’s cheaper and more efficient. I hope we would all support that, but unfortunately, it seems like the other side of the aisle demanded a sacrifice here,” he said.

Proponents say the bill modernizes the election process and prevents fraud.

Because the Assembly made changes to the bill, it now goes back to the state Senate.