Budget Cuts Will Put up Barriers to the Ballot

MILWAUKEE — All Voting is Local Wisconsin State Director Shauntay Nelson issued the following statement on the Wisconsin Joint Finance Commission’s decision to remove voting rights provisions, such as automatic voter registration and a voter bill of rights, from Gov. Tony Evers’ 2021 – 2023 proposed budget:

“We are deeply disappointed in the Joint Finance Commission’s decision to remove these critical voting rights provisions from Governor Evers’ 2021 – 2023 proposed budget. The removal of these provisions, such as automatic voter registration, would adversely impact access to the ballot for Black, Brown, and low-income people, and people with disabilities. 

“This comes as bills to restrict voting make their way through the legislature. Lawmakers must support pathways to voting freedom, and should be doing everything in their power to increase access.”

Background: Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Commission removed voting rights provisions from Governor Evers’ 2021 – 2023 proposed budget that would fund automatic voter registration and the People’s Maps Commission, expand access to photo IDs for students, establish a voter bill of rights, and more. Simultaneously, the legislature is trying to fast track legislation that would implement new barriers to the ballot. This includes legislation that would limit funding for elections administration, make it more difficult to return absentee ballots, restrict support for voters in retirement homes and residential care facilities, and implement new barriers for voters with disabilities.