Empower Wisconsin | May 28, 2020
During a campaign stop in 1928, an enthusiastic supporter yelled out to Democratic candidate Alfred E. Smith, “I’ll vote nine times for you, Al.” Smith shouted back, “OK, pal, but don’t get caught at it!”
The funny, little anecdote from Paul F. Boller Jr.’s “Presidential Campaigns,” to many, is less joke than the long-held liberal motto on elections: vote early and vote often.
It’s not the “early” part that concerns conservatives. Wisconsin has a robust and secure absentee ballot system.
It’s the “often” that has them worried, particularly as Democrats introduce legislation that would make November’s general election an all vote-by-mail affair.
They’re using pandemic fear, of course, to push their proposal. The measure drops key voter integrity protections, such as voter ID requirements, something liberals have for nearly a decade tried to kill.
Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke says the bill is dead on arrival in the Republican Legislature.
“The biggest concern about anything the Democrats are proposing, especially here in Wisconsin, is their proposal to send out ballots, actual ballots to all registered voters, and then not require voter ID like our current system does and not require a witness signature,” Steineke told Empower Wisconsin’s M.D. Kittle last week on the Jay Weber Show, on NewsTalk 1130 WISN. “So, literally, these ballots would be going across the state, and whoever picked them out of the mailbox could fill them out and return them and we’d never know they voted fraudulently.”
Under the legislation, all polling locations would be closed “but for limited use by voters who are unable to use a mail-in-absentee ballot due to disability or difficulty reading, writing, or understanding English.”
“As all registered voters are automatically mailed a ballot under LRB 5972, the photo ID requirements are removed as there is no opportunity for them to be implemented under this system,” the bill states.
“There are other proposals out there that would have absentee ballot requests, applications to all registered voters, that would still keep in place Voter ID, that would still keep in place witness signatures, so that’s a little different,” Steineke said. “But the ones the Democrats are talking about with no verification, no security measures, that’s just not going to happen as long as Republicans control the Legislature.”
Rep. Jim Steineke is our guest on this edition of PowerUp, Empower Wisconsin’s podcast.