Wed December 12, 2012
Ending Same-Day Registration Would Cost Millions
A report from the state's elections agency says ending same-day registration would cost the state more than $5 million the first year. The memo comes as majority Republicans are weighing an end to the decades-old law.
The Government Accountability Board memo notes that if Election Day registration is eliminated in Wisconsin, federal law would require the state to offer voter registration services at DMVs and at agencies that provide public assistance. Federal law would also require poll workers to offer voters more provisional ballots on Election Day, to people who've moved within their voting districts, for example. The Government Accountability Board says provisional ballots are more complex and time-consuming.
The board says that between increased costs for maintaining the state's voter list, updating its information technology, training and staffing and a public education campaign, the change would cost about $5.2 million dollars. The board says there would be ongoing costs of $1.9 million every two years.
The letter was sent to all state lawmakers. Board spokesman Reid Magney said the GAB was not doing media interviews. A spokesman for Republican Sen. Alberta Darling, who co-chairs the legislature's budget committee, said Darling had not yet seen the report and had no comment for now. Darling is one of the lawmakers planning to sponsor a bill to end same-day registration.