City of Madison, Wisconsin | Legislative Information Center
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File #: 42550    Version: 1 Name: Declaring the City of Madison’s ongoing commitment and increased efforts to make voter registration maximally accessible, convenient and modern.
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 4/15/2016 In control: COMMON COUNCIL
On agenda: 6/21/2016 Final action: 6/21/2016
Enactment date: 6/23/2016 Enactment #: RES-16-00491
Title: Declaring the City of Madison’s ongoing commitment and increased efforts to make voter registration maximally accessible, convenient and modern.
Sponsors: Maurice S. Cheeks, Ledell Zellers, Larry Palm, Michael E. Verveer, Tim Gruber, Shiva Bidar, Barbara Harrington-McKinney, Steve King, Marsha A. Rummel

Fiscal Note

No appropriation required.

Title

Declaring the City of Madison’s ongoing commitment and increased efforts to make voter registration maximally accessible, convenient and modern.

Body

WHEREAS, the right to vote in free, fair, accessible, and open elections is one of our most fundamental rights; and

 

WHEREAS, the greatest barrier to free, fair, accessible and open elections is our nation’s ramshackle voter registration system; and

 

WHEREAS, voter registration laws in our country are undeniably rooted in a history of efforts to obstruct voter participation from minorities, women, poor people and foreign born citizens; and

 

WHEREAS, some states are adopting voter modernization laws to simplify access and increase voter participation in an effort to overcome that history and eliminate obstacles to accessing this fundamental right; and

 

WHEREAS, in the most recent state legislative session, Wisconsin’s current legislators and Governor passed and signed into law a prohibition of the successful practice of manual voter registration drives within the community by Special Registration Deputies; and

 

WHEREAS, manual voter registration is still a crucial part of our electoral process in Wisconsin; and

 

WHEREAS, proof of residence is required when registering to vote in Wisconsin; and

 

WHEREAS, only documents specifically allowed by State Statute may be used as proof of residence; and

 

WHEREAS, government documents are accepted forms of proof of residence; and

 

WHEREAS, in February 2012, 35 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in April 2012, 51 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in May 2012, 130 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in June 2012, 239 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in August 2012, 14 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in November 2012, 164 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in February 2013, 14 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in April 2013, 19 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in April 2014, 50 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in August 2014, 39 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in November 2014, 157 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in February 2015, 14 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in April 2015, 28 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in February 2016, 89 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, in April 2016, 99 City of Madison residents were unable to register and vote on Election Day because they did not present an accepted form of proof of residence at the polls; and

 

WHEREAS, Wisconsin’s insidious body of voter registration laws demonstrate a commitment to moving our state backwards to more closely reflect an unethical legacy of voter registration suppression which is not reflective of Wisconsin’s civic values;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Madison seeks to further make voter registration maximally accessible, convenient and modern; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Common Council establishes that the City of Madison shall offer voter registration at all city offices in accordance with State Statute 6.28(1); and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Clerk’s Office shall provide voter registration training and voter registration forms to all city offices; and

 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that each time a resident visits a city office and presents government documents that are accepted forms of proof of residence, city staff shall present the resident with the opportunity to register to vote.