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Contact: Prudence Robertson,, (240) 672-2828

Washington, D.C. – S.B. 204, legislation in Wisconsin pertaining to voter I.D. protections for absentee voting, failed to pass the state Senate’s Committee on Elections, Election Process Reform, and Ethics. Republican Senator Kathleen Bernier, who chairs the committee, cast the deciding vote.

Importantly, S.B. 204 would help ensure voter I.D. protections for absentee voting by requiring voters casting absentee ballots to prove their identity, restricting the automatic mailing of absentee ballots, and mandating a clear absentee ballot request process.

National Chairman of the Election Transparency Initiative and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued the following statement:

“With conservatives in charge of the chamber, S.B. 204 should be moved to the calendar as expeditiously as possible in accordance with Senate rules for an up-or-down decision. Our laws should make it easy to vote and hard to cheat in our elections, and this legislation moves Wisconsin closer to this goal by establishing a fair and transparent process for absentee voting that people can trust. There is no reason why voting-by-mail should have fewer safeguards than voting-in-person. A consistent voter I.D. requirement ensures that all voters play by the same set of rules. Transparent absentee voting rules are vital to ensuring that each Wisconsin vote is counted fairly and legally.”

Wisconsin provides a free voter I.D. card for any resident who doesn’t have an existing form of I.D. but who wants to vote. 2020 voter turnout in Wisconsin was at 75.8%, the highest it has been in decades.

According to recent polling released by the Honest Elections Project, Americans of all backgrounds and political persuasions overwhelmingly favor requiring that voters show ID to vote:

  • 64% of voters, including Black (51%) and Hispanic (66%) voters, as well asurban (59%) and Independent (61%) voters, want to strengthen voting safeguards that prevent fraud – not eliminate them.
  • 77% of voters, including strong majorities of Republicans (92%), Independents (75%), and Democrats (63%) all support requiring voter ID.
    • 64% of Black voters, 77% of Hispanics, and 76% of low-income voters reject the notion that presenting a form of ID at the ballot-box is a “burden.”
  • Two-thirds of voters (66%) support increased protections on absentee voting, like requiring voter ID to vote absentee, which proposed federal bills, H.R.1 and S.1 expressly forbid, contrary to the clear will of the American people.

Separately, Rasmussen found 75% of likely U.S. voters say that showing a photo I.D. to vote is necessary for a “fair and secure election process.” Additional polling from Rasmussen found that 85% of registered voters said it is “common sense” to require photo I.D.

The Election Transparency Initiative, a partnership between American Principles Project (APP) and the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), was organized to combat H.R. 1/S. 1 and advocate for state-based election reforms that voters can trust.