State comm. to hold hearing on so-called “election collection”

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MADISON (WITI) -- A legislative committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday, June 4th on a measure that could change the way everyone in Wisconsin casts ballots.

The proposal before the committee is known as an "omnibus bill." Omnibus is the Latin meaning "for everything." When it comes to election laws, this bill has everything but the kitchen sink.

"There are some changes to photo ID, securities of our election, to the ballots and some things to make it more efficient for local clerks in operating and then we've done a few things to bring Wisconsin law into line with some of the federal court decisions," said State Rep. Jeff Stone of Greendale.

The bill includes those proposals in a single package. The bill would...

  • Restrict voting to the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Currently, you can vote from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.)
  • Restrict recalls for school and municipal officials. Those officials would have to be charged with a crime to initiate the process.
  • Would reinstate the voter ID law
  • Require ballots to be thrown away if voters fail to sign the poll log book.
  • Require a "hard copy" proof of residents -- not a digital display on a smart phone or tablet.

Democrats say as the budget battles over school vouchers, tax cuts and BadgerCare grab the headlines, this bill is being slipped past the public.

"You know, we talk about a lot about not putting policy in the budget. But also what's just as bad is when you sneak policy, horrible policy, in the shadows of the budget and that's what's going on with that omnibus bill," said State Rep. Mandela Barnes of Milwaukee.

But Stone defends his omnibus bill as good for democracy.

"By bringing those together you can look and say how does this work together as a package and finally hopefully you get more people to buy in because you've gotten a number of people's ideas combined into one package," said Stone.

The hearing on this bill is set for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 4th.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.