Dear Editor: In the presidential election year of 2008, during the early voter registration period, 140,561 people in Wisconsin registered during drives conducted by special registration deputies. On Tuesday, March 11, the Wisconsin Senate will vote on SB-267, which would cripple these types of registration efforts.
Currently those who register during the early period have their address confirmed by a mailing after registration. SB-267 would require these registrants to provide proof of residence before they can register. Few people who have recently moved routinely carry such proof. For students, the elderly, and those who do not have a utility bill with their name and address, the requirement to provide this proof might block their registration.
This started as an innocuous bill and received no publicity, but recently this provision was added. Now it may be as significant a barrier to voting as the photo ID bill passed last session, or the bill being considered to restrict early voting, which will also be considered by the Senate on Tuesday.