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Alder Scott J. Resnick

Alder Scott J. Resnick,
Council President Pro Tem

Home Address:
661 Mendota Ct # 1404
Madison , WI 53703

Phone: 608-807-7962
district8@cityofmadison.com
Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Improving Voter Registration

July 15, 2012 4:36 PM

Two weeks Alder Maniaci introduced an ordinance that would require landlords to provide a voter registration information during move-in. While some landlords have come out in vehement opposition to the ordinance, I believe it will combat several of the consequences created by the Wisconsin's 2011 Voter ID Law.

In Wisconsin, citizens need two necessary pieces of identification are required to vote: photo identification and proof of residency. In regards to the former, the University provides students with identification cards if a state license is not readily available. In regards to the latter, students that reside in the dorms can use various forms found within their MyUW portal to prove their residency. However, students off campus must provide an official statement to determine residency. 

Proof of residency easier to process if a voter is register before election day. Registered voters decreases lines at the polls, saves the City Clerk money in staffing, and decreases confusion on election day.

However, many students wait to register at the polls. An added consequence is that some students may not have the proper proof, jeopardizing their ability to vote. On occasion, landlords fail to place a tenant's name on a lease, bank statements are sent to a home address, and utility bills are not in the individual's name. If all three occur, that individual may not be able to vote.

This ordinance helps to elevate that scenario.  Landlords will be required to provide voter registration information when new tenants move-in. This would not require tenants to register to vote or vote in an election, it would simply provide them with information on how to vote and a voter registration form.

So far, Council has received mixed support from landlords. Some have overwhelmingly supported the idea; other strongly oppose it. The ones who oppose it clam a landlord should not be involved in the voting process. However, since proof a residency is central to the voting process, inherently landlords are part of the process.

I am also thrilled ASM has endorsed the ordnance. To quote a letter sent to Council, "we believe it is not only an issue of convenience on behalf of the landlords, but it also is the duty of the city to encourage participation in elections by all constituents by every means possible."

Twelve alders are cosponsoring the ordinance, and I hope to moment behind it allows for passage on Tuesday.

 





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