FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joseph Waldman, Communications Director
On Tuesday night, Republican lawmakers in the Wisconsin State Senate passed a bill that would effectively end campus voter registration drives, further restricting access to the ballot for young Wisconsinites. SB 295, sponsored by Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), would prevent municipalities from certifying residents as "Special Registration Deputies", while allowing only residents with a DMV-issued Wisconsin ID to register online. In the 2008, 2012, and 2014 elections, students certified as Special Registration Deputies on behalf of student governments and organizations were instrumental in helping their classmates register to vote.
In response to the passage of SB 295, College Democrats of Wisconsin Chair Phoenix Rice-Johnson released the following statement:
"This is only the latest in a long line of Republican attacks on the right to vote in Wisconsin, including massive cuts to early voting hours and one of the strictest photo ID laws in the nation. By attaching the provision to eliminate Special Registration Deputies to an online registration bill, Republican legislators have cynically attempted to cover their tracks. Make no mistake -- For young Wisconsinites, this bill will limit access to the ballot, not expand it. Those lacking a DMV-issued Wisconsin ID, such as out-of-state students, will be unable to register online, even if they have a valid university-issued photo ID."
"For decades, young Wisconsinites have relied on Special Registration Deputies from student governments, civic organizations, and campus groups to register to vote. These campus registration drives are integral to ensuring every student is able to make their voice heard. Without them, countless young people risk being excluded from the electoral process. I strongly urge Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers in the state assembly to keep the position of Special Registration Deputy intact and reject this devastating attack on the voting rights of Wisconsin students."