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Voters favor same-day voter registration in non-binding referendum


UNDATED (WSAU)   Voters in Milwaukee and Dane County have overwhelmingly said Wisconsin should keep its long-running practice of letting people register-to-vote at the polls on Election Day. Almost three-fourths of Milwaukee voters approved an advisory referendum on the subject yesterday. And in the Madison area, the Dane County vote was 82-to-18 percent in favor.

Liberal voting rights groups like United Wisconsin and One Wisconsin Now were among those calling for the referendums, so supporters could send a message to Republicans who had talked about ending the three-decade-old practice of same-day voter registration. Some Republicans have said the system favors Democrats. But they toned down their rhetoric after learning that it would cost $15-million to scrap same-day registration. That’s because the state would have to start following federal election mandates that include letting people register when they apply for public benefits and drivers’ licenses.

Walker now says he’d veto a bill to eliminate Election Day sign-ups, even if his fellow Republicans in the Legislature pass it.