Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Same-day voter registration remains safe...for now

Governor's comments suggest the only thing stopping GOP is the economic impact of change

Gov. Scott Walker says that he won’t sign a bill into law if it eliminates same-day voter registration.

His reasoning behind his change of heart is financial: doing-away with the decades-old practice would cost the state more than $5 million initially, with additional costs of $2 million every two years after that.

So while Walker’s decision to push aside the issue is a welcomed one, his reasoning is less than noble -- it’d be much better if Walker had changed his mind based on the importance of preserving democracy rather than concerns of its costs. 
Still, it seems that same-day voter registration is safe, at least for now.

But that doesn’t mean that will always be the case.

Indeed, Rep. Joel Kleefisch, the Wisconsin Assemblyman who has dedicated himself for years towards ending same-day registration, says he’s pressing on with finding a way to get rid of the democratically empowering practice that Wisconsinites have enjoyed for generations.

“We’re going to continue to look at the potential to eliminate same-day voter registration while balancing its fiscal impact on the state,” Kleefisch said.

For some Republicans, it seems the only reason behind preserving the people’s right to register on Election Day is economic. For other Republicans, not even that rationale is enough to keep the practice intact.

What’s lost among both factions of conservative thought here, however, is the necessity of same-day voter registration, which is utilized by nearly half a million voting-age citizens.

Those citizens are not concerned with the economics of voting -- they’re just concerned with keeping their voices heard, through the power they have inside the voting booth.

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