MacIver Newsmakers: Sen. Kathy Bernier Says Wisconsin Has A ‘Vulnerability’ In Its Voter Registration System

MacIver News Service | June 14, 2019

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON, Wis. —We’ll just take your word for it. 

That’s effectively what left-wing voter-rights activists are pushing for Wisconsin’s election system. Now the Democratic Party of Wisconsin has made honor-system proof-of-address a plank in its far left platform. 

Dem delegates earlier this month narrowly approved a resolution (39-36) that “no ‘proof of physical address’ other than spoken or written” should be “required for any voter registration or voting.”

The resolution was among several passed at the at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin state convention in Milwaukee. 

Dem Activists Seek To Remove Voter Proof-Of-Residency Requirements

The Wisconsin Democratic Party’s Automatic Voter Registration resolution insists, “Registration and voting is (sic) suppressed by picture ID and by proof of residence 29 days prior (to an election)” and that “poor access to clerks in rural areas creates more suppression.” They want “Point of contact” automatic voter registration. 

State Sen. Kathy Bernier has heard it all before. The Lake Hallie Republican serves as chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Elections, Ethics and Rural issues. Before first being elected to the Assembly in 2010, Bernier worked as Chippewa County clerk for more than a decade. 

She knows a thing or two about elections and voter integrity. 

Bernier recalls serving on a panel for the National Conference of State Legislatures when a “very liberal secretary of state for Minnesota,” sitting to her left, “said voter registration is voter suppression.” 

Voter registration is voter integrity, Bernier tells MacIver News Service. 

“Gone are the days when you can just walk in and tell them your name and your address,” she said. “We clearly have lot of other issues, cybersecurity issues among others.”

She likens it to a financial institution acknowledging it has vulnerabilities in its data security but assuring the customer that they haven’t been hacked yet. 

“Would you continue to deposit your money in that bank? No you would not,” Bernier said.  

“I think it is important for the voters and the candidates to be certain that the electoral system is fair, accurate, and it’s protected,” the senator added. 

Bernier recently was appointed to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, an independent, bipartisan commission charged with developing guidance to meet Help America Vote Act requirements. Wisconsin’s election system, she says, has a vulnerability in its registration system thanks to a federal law. 

“I’m not going to tell you what our vulnerability is because I don’t want foreign actors to get any funny ideas,” she said. “I don’t like it. I pointed it out (to commission members).” 

Sen. Bernier talks about elections, voter fraud, and why people who need people may be the luckiest people in the world on this edition of MacIver Newsmakers.