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Electronic documents can be used to prove Wisconsin voter residency


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsinites who want to register-to-vote can call up copies of their bills from smart-phones or laptops to prove their residency.

The state Government Accountability Board approved the measure in August – and despite complaints from Republicans and others, the panel reaffirmed the policy today on a 5-to-1 vote.

A couple of poll workers urged the board to demand paper copies of bills and bank statements as proof-of-residency.

Mequon poll worker Walt Hadcock said it made him quote, “shudder” in trying to decide whether an electronic document is actually real.

Cedarburg election inspector Carol Boettcher said older poll workers will have a hard time reading what’s on a smartphone screen – and she says it just adds another stress to poll workers.

Supporters say many people pay their bills online or by smartphone – and that’s the way business is done today.

Andrea Kaminski of the state’s League of Women Voters agreed that voters should be able to produce proof-of-residency with electronic devices. She says the rules allow election observers to get close enough to view the process, without seeing personal information from people’s bills and bank accounts.

Earlier Tuesday , the board voted 5-to-1 to re-affirm an August decision to make observers stand at least six-feet away from poll workers. Republicans opposed that move as well.