MacIver News Service | November 12, 2013[Madison, Wisc…] The Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections approved three elections reform bills on Tuesday voting along partisan lines.
One bill would limit the times for voting by absentee ballot in person (AB54). Another bill would regulate voting in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities (AB396). The last bill would allow veterans to use their veterans ID cards and would exempt certain voters if and when voter ID laws are in effect (AB493).
The hearing lasted for two hours, as Democrats and Republicans on the committee debated the bills in a lighthearted atmosphere. Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee) put up the most resistance during the discussion on AB493.
Zamarripa used the opportunity to go after Voter ID, itself, and not necessarily the bill. She pointed to the Senate, stating it has decided to wait until court challenges play out before addressing anymore bills about Voter ID.
“I stand with Senator Fitzgerald [Senate Majority Leader],” she said, emphasizing the irony of the statement.
Representative Kathleen Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls), the committee’s chair, explained the Assembly and the Senate aren’t expected to only move on bills the other chamber is favorable to.
Assembly Bills 54 and 396 have companion bills in the Senate, which has recently held public hearings on them. There is no companion bill in the Senate for AB 493.
The Assembly is expected to take up the bills on Thursday.