GOP senators offer election reform bills

Posted at 4 p.m. on February 24, 2021

The Brillion News

MADISON - State Senators Alberta Darling and Duey Stroebel are introducing 10 bills aimed at election integrity.

Darling said there are concerns among both Republicans and Democrats over how Wisconsin elections are managed. The two Republican lawmakers said recent polling shows distrust in our election system.

A 2018 NPR/Marist poll showed 40 percent of Americans tthought elections were not fair.

Two years later, a 2020 Reuters/Ipsos poll showed 74 percent of registered voters were concerned about organized voter fraud.


Stroebel said the package of bills will make sure every vote is treated the same as others.


{<< Senator Stroebel photo]


“Public confidence in our elections is at a crisis point,” Stroebel said, “These bills are about restoring confidence in our elections. We must ensure uniformity of process and transparency of conduct so all voters, regardless of political belief, trust the final outcome.”

The 10-bill package includes:

  • Ballot Security Act: State law doesn’t allow for the use of dropboxes, even though many were used in the 2020 election. This bill will make sure drop boxes are a safe and secure option for voters.

  • Election Observer Protection: Will make sure the public has equal access when observing the election process.

  • Ballot Integrity Act: Reinforces state law that says voters, not clerks should fix any errors on a ballot.

  • Standardizing Absentee Ballot Requests: Everyone who votes absentee in Wisconsin will fill out the same form.

  • Security of Returned Absentee Ballots: Clarify that a family member, guardian, or non-candidate, unpaid designee for those without family may return completed absentee ballots for others. A designee may only return one non-family member’s ballot per election.

  • Prohibiting Private Funding of Elections: Direct any non-government entity seeking to donate funds or resources for election administration to send the money to the Elections Commission, which distributes the money on a per-capita basis statewide.

  • Absentee Ballot Uniformity: Ensure that all absentee voters who possess a photo ID present that ID in order to receive an absentee ballot.

  • WEC Meeting Minutes Transparency: Require the Elections Commission to publish their meeting minutes (to include votes taken and motions considered) on their state website.

  • Long-term Care Facility Voter Integrity: Ensure family members know when voting occurs in long-term care facilities and nursing homes, prohibit any employee of such a facility from influencing a resident’s decision to vote or not vote.

  • Indefinitely Confined Voter Reform: Require statements of indefinite confinement to be made under oath with penalties for false statements, clarify that a pandemic does not grant indefinitely confined status.

Darling represents portions of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha Counties. Stroebel represents portions of Ozaukee, Washington, Fond du Lac, Calumet, and Sheboygan Counties.