On Wednesday, June 9th, legislators will vote on voting bills that may make it harder for many people with disabilities, older adults, and people of color to vote. Now is the time to call/email your legislators to share how these bills could impact you or a loved one.
What You Can Do
Call or email your legislators about your concerns. You can find your legislator’s contact info by calling the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-362-9472 or click “Who Are My Legislators?” on the Wisconsin State Legislature Home Page.
Below are some important points to bring up when contacting your legislator:
- The bills eliminate the option for people with disabilities to be a permanent absentee voter and always receive an absentee ballot. (indefinitely confined voter)
- Any voter who wants to vote absentee would need to apply for an absentee ballot for every election instead of requesting an absentee ballot for the year.
- It’s hard to get photo ID if you are a non-driver; DMV hours and locations are extremely limited.
- The bills makes it a crime for staff of nursing homes or group homes to offer residents information about absentee voting. Staff have a duty to support residents with their right to vote.
- Many people don’t have access to the internet or computer to request an absentee ballot.
- You want legislators to work with the disability and aging community to address barriers to voting and make elections more accessible, not less.
Sample Email to a Legislator
Email Subject Line: Concerns about voting bills SB 204, SB 205, SB 206, SB 209
Dear Sen./Rep. [Name of Elected Official],
I am writing to share my concerns about the following bills because they will make it harder to vote (add the number of the bills you are concerned about). [Briefly introduce yourself – if you live in the district, where you volunteer, work, etc]
As an American, few things are more important to me than my right to vote and ensuring all people, regardless of their disability, age, race, or where they live, have that same opportunity.
[Tell your story: explain about how these bills will personally make it harder for you or someone you know to vote.]
For these reasons and more, I ask you to vote against these bills and to support accessible and inclusive elections. Thank you for taking my voice into consideration.
Questions? Contact the DRW Voter Hotline at 844-347-8683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary of key bills that could negatively impact these voters:
SB 204 / AB 201: Absentee Ballot Applications
- Eliminates the option for indefinitely confined voters to receive absentee ballots automatically for every election and would require all indefinitely confined voters to provide a photo ID with their absentee ballot request.
SB 205 / AB 179: Absentee Voting in Residential Care Facilities
- Any action by staff that influences an eligible resident voter to request an absentee ballot or refrain from doing so would be a Class I felony.
- Would require the facility to notify residents’ relatives as to when the special voting deputies will be coming to the facility to assist in the casting of absentee ballots.
SB 206 / AB 180: Returning Absentee Indefinitely Confined Voter
- Voters would be required to provide statements under oath and renew their status every two years. A false statement would be a felony.
SB 209 / AB 177: Returning Absentee Ballots to the Office of the Clerk
- Will limit drop boxes for absentee ballots to a drop box that is attached to a building where the municipal clerk’s office is permanently located.
- Prohibits the use of any other drop box for the delivery of an absentee ballot.