GAB study finds Walker’s same-day voter suppression would not work and cost over $5 million

Scott Walker is famous for throwing millions of federal dollars allocated to Wisconsin out the window to appeal to his myopic Tea Party base, the Koch Brothers and clueless fans of his divisive charlatanism. Then he begs for the money later. He’s a genius at looking for a solution in search of a problem. When he was out at Reagan’s Library and Museum in California last November, he pulled the “same-day voter registration” problem out of his arse to portray his talents as a loyal Republican who sees voter suppression as a “solution” to future Republican victories. He just makes up a lame excuse to hide the intent to repeal Wisconsin’s same-day registration law, which has been in place in Wisconsin since 1976:

“States across the country that have same-day registration have real problems because the vast majority of their states have poll workers who are wonderful volunteers, who work 13-hour days and who in most cases are retirees,” he said. “It’s difficult for them to handle the volume of people who come at the last minute. It’d be much better if registration was done in advance of election day. It’d be easier for our clerks to handle that. All that needs to be done.”


Of course, he was lying. The same-day voter registration was used by Walker’s own son, whom Walker personally went to the polls with. Incoming Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) supports as much voter suppression as possible and will certainly try to sneak through legislation. To add to the insanity, the Government Accountability Board (GAB) did a preliminary study PDF indicating that not only wouldn’t the policy work, but it would cost Wisconsin taxpayers over $5 million.

The accountability board estimated in its report that ending election-day registration would cost the state $5.2 million for the first two years – $1.9 million for increased costs to maintain voter lists, $1.2 million in computer system upgrades, $1.2 million for an ad campaign and voter outreach and more than $800,000 for training and adding staff.

Some of those costs would be recurring. The figures do not include the costs to other state agencies that would have to offer voter registration forms to the public and forward any returned forms to election officials. Those costs are expected to be tallied in a follow-up report due at the end of the month.

The accountability board noted that its cost estimates are rough because expenses could change significantly depending on the exact wording of any legislation.

Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) said he had not yet reviewed the material from the accountability board and remained committed to trying to end election-day registration.

“They ought to push that out of the chute,” he said. “It should be on the floor in January.”

He said he believed election-day registration made it easier to commit voter fraud, though he acknowledged he had no evidence to support that is happening.

“I can’t prove it, but we all believe it,” he said of fraud. “It would be harder to cheat under Motor Voter and that’s why we should go with Motor Voter.”

Democrats criticized Grothman for claiming election-day registration can lead to voter fraud without backing it up.

“The only vote fraud taking place here is when they’re disenfranchising people and trying to take their vote away,” said incoming Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee).


Stay tuned for more idiocy from the Republicans and Walker in 2013.