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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Senator Mary Lazich’s Statement about Governor Walker’s Approval of Lazich Election Administration Reform Package

Madison- State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) released the following statement after Governor Walker signed four more of Senator Lazich’s election reform bills.  The bills signed today are in addition to four of Senator Lazich’s elections bills signed by Governor Walker last week.

Today Governor Walker signed SB 262, SB 264, SB 265, and SB 267, authored by Senator Mary Lazich.

“Governor Walker’s signature of the four bills concludes a successful legislative session for Wisconsin electors and for fairness, transparency, and uniformity during Wisconsin elections,” Senator Mary Lazich stated.  “The bills signed into law today are the product of observations at the Racine recount and input from other stakeholders.  Unfortunately by many accounts the process at Racine appeared sloppy and disorderly.  Wisconsin electors deserve better.  Today’s bills provide assurance that elections are administered in a fair and transparent manner.” 

Senate Bill 267, Act 182, is a comprehensive proof of residence bill that greatly improves the accuracy of elector registrations.  The Wisconsin Constitution, Article 3, Section 1, provides that “Every United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident of an election district in this state is a qualified elector of that district.”  SB 267 enforces the Constitutional requirement that electors are residents of the district that they vote.   

“This bill strikes the proper balance between ensuring voters are residents of the district that they vote and protecting personal privacy.  The legislation protects the personal privacy interests of Wisconsin elector’s account numbers while providing residence verification,” Senator Lazich declared.  “SB 267 removes account numbers from the poll list, an area visible to other electors, and requires abbreviated account numbers listed on the registration form.”

“Rep. Bernier (R – Chippewa Falls) was a strong leader for this bill, and thank you to Senator Glenn Grothman (R – West Bend) and Representative Mark Born (R – Beaver Dam) for their work on Senate Bill 459, incorporated into SB 267.  The comprehensive bill ensures proof of residence is presented and properly documented at the time an elector registers to vote, retaining an exception for military and overseas voters.” 

Senate Bill 265, Act 181, ensures political parties with the statutory responsibility to staff elections have trusted election inspectors at each polling place performing each task. The bill requires, insofar as practical, each party have representation on each specific job requiring two or more inspectors within the polling place.    

“The bill strengthens fairness and security of elections by ensuring adequate oversight and transparency of the election administration processes.” Senator Lazich continued, “I’m also pleased we included an amendment offered by Representative Zamarripa (D – Milwaukee) that improves the partisan election inspector appointment process.”  

Senate Bill 264, Act 180, guarantees the chief inspector and one other inspector with party affiliation different than the chief inspector secure the ballot container. 

“The recent Racine recount demonstrated that all too often ballots are not secured in locked or sealed tamper-evident containers as the law requires,” Senator Lazich explained. “During the Racine recount many ballot bags were received opened and without a documented explanation.  The job of securing ballot containers is important enough that it should be done only by the chief inspector and a poll worker of the opposite party.  If there are problems, the bill assures accountability.” 

Senate Bill 262, Act 179, provides for a uniform procedure for election officials handling damaged ballots and/or over voted ballots. 

“Existing law did not require damaged or over voted ballots to be marked in a consistent or uniform manner.  This created problems and confusion during recounts,” Senator Lazich explained.  “Working with the Government Accountability Board, we were able to identify a uniform location on ballots to record this information.  This simple bill ensures uniform treatment will ease the administration of recounts.”

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