Republicans and Democrats each question the plan to change the state’s indefinitely confined voter rules at the Wisconsin Capitol.
Rep. Cindi Duchow, R-Town of Delafield, presented her plan to tighten the state’s indefinitely confined voter law by defining what indefinitely confined means, requiring people to apply for a separate indefinitely confined absentee ballot, clarifying a public health emergency does not allow people to claim indefinitely confined status and would ban people from voting indefinitely confined if they vote in person.
“Indefinitely confined means ‘I’m not leaving,’” Duchow told the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections.
Wisconsin law allows people to vote absentee as indefinitely confined voters if they cannot or have trouble physically making it to the polls.
Duchow says the rules need to be tightened because the indefinitely confined law also allows people to vote without showing an ID.
“This is a problem that cuts to the heart of whether Wisconsin will get fair transparent elections,” Duchow said.
Wisconsin saw a spike in indefinitely confined voters in the 2020 presidential election.
“The non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau, in their elections administration report, noted a sharp increase in the number of people using the loophole in the 2020 election,” Duchow said. “In the November 2020 election alone, the Audit Bureau found that up to 48,544 individuals never showed a photo ID.”
Duchow proposed a similar plan last year, but Gov. Tony Evers vetoed it.
Democrats pressed Duchow if the governor would veto this version as well.
“What changes have been made?” Rep. Clinton Anderson, D-Beloit, said.
“I’m having a hard time understanding your worry,” Rep. Lee Snodgrass, D-Appleton, said.
The Republican chairman of the committee, Rep. Scot Krug, R-Nekoosa, echoed the Democrats’ concerns.
“There are some ideas out there that if we can bring them forward and have a discussion…and see what we can agree on,” Krug said. “Because what exists right now is not right. So, we have to find a way to get it a little bit better.”