Joe Bast | July 5, 2023
The Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Conservative Coalition tasked me with using legis.wisconsin.gov to search for bills on “election integrity” so we can then send a letter to elected officials calling for action on this front.
My search produced 32 results. I found 7 pairs of bills — Assembly and Senate bills submitted with identical language — that all appear to be good bills and most of them are sponsored by most of the Republican state legislators in our area. They are:
Assembly Bill 21, https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2023/related/proposals/ab21, and its companion Senate Bill 26, would “remove ineligible voters from official voter registration lists.” It is sponsored by Reps. Brandtjen, Gustafson, and Tusler, and Sens. Jacque and Cabral-Guevara.
Assembly Bill 38, https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2023/related/proposals/ab38, and its companion Senate Bill 39, would require that persons making a written application for an absentee ballot be contacted by the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) via text message that the application has been received and again when the actual ballot has been received. Sponsored by Reps. Steffen, Murphy, and Tusler, and Sen. Cabral-Guevara, among others.
Senate Bill 98, https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2023/related/proposals/sb98, requires the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to provide WEC access to personally identifiable information maintained by DOT in order to verify that individuals on the official registration list are U.S. citizens. Sponsored by Sen. Cabral-Guevara and Reps Brandtjen, Murphy, Tusler, and others.
Assembly Bill 297, https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2023/related/proposals/ab297, “allows an adult child or parent of a voter to file a written sworn complaint with the commission on behalf of a voter regardless of whether the adult child or parent is a voter in the jurisdiction or district in which the alleged action or inaction occurred. In addition, under the bill, whenever a voter believes that a person has engaged in prohibited election practices in the voter’s jurisdiction or district, such as impersonating a registered voter or voting more than once in the same election, the voter may file a written sworn complaint with the commission. The bill also allows an adult child or parent of the voter to file a complaint regardless of whether the adult child or parent is a voter in that jurisdiction or district.”
Senate Bill 88, https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2023/proposals/sb88, “provides whistleblower protection for municipal clerks who witness and report election fraud or irregularities. Under the bill, no municipal clerk may be discriminated against in regard to employment, including by being discharged, disciplined, or demoted, as a reprisal because the clerk lawfully reported, or is believed to have reported, witnessing what the clerk reasonably believed to be election fraud or irregularities.”
Assembly Bill 299, https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2023/proposals/ab299, and Senate Bill 306 “requires a military voter to provide his or her federal Department of Defense number on the application for an absentee ballot and requires the municipal clerk to verify with the state Department of Military Affairs that the DOD number conforms to the voter’s name on the application. The military voter is also required to complete a consent for release of information form provided by the clerk and approved by the DOD. “
Senate Bill 291, https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2023/proposals/sb291, and Assembly Bill 300 “prohibits public access to records that contain the personally identifiable information of election officials or election registration officials, except that a public records custodian may provide access to the name and city and state of residence of an election official or election registration official. Current law provides a number of similar exceptions for providing public access to records. For example, current law limits access to records containing personal information regarding individuals who hold a state or local public office or the personal information of applicants for a public position.”