Bill would cut the amount of time voters can cast early ballots

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MADISON (WITI) -- A bill introduced in Wisconsin's Assembly would cut the amount of time voters can cast ballots early for an election. The idea is not sitting well in Milwaukee, and on Tuesday, March 19th, Mayor Tom Barrett and others called it "unjustified."

Some say it levels the playing field, but others say it attacks a person's basic right.

"The problem apparently to some Legislatures is too many people are voting in areas that support people of not of their party," Mayor Barrett said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and other community leaders don't support Assembly Bill 54 -- a bill that limits a clerk's office to take in-person absentee ballots Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Rep. Duey Stroebel (R - Saukville) is one of the authors of the bill, and calls it a common sense bill. He says the measure would make absentee voting hours uniform statewide.

"What this bill is geared toward is fairness and equality," Stroebel said.

Opponents in Milwaukee see it as a power play from the right, and feel it disenfranchises minority and college voters.

"But also for those people who have difficult work schedules -- gives them an opportunity to vote," Mayor Barrett said.

"If they're concerned about accessibility, how come they're concerned about accessibility last fall but they're not concerned about accessibility this spring?" Stroebel said.

While the bill continues to be discussed in Madison, there will be a referendum on the April ballot for the city of Milwaukee. It will ask voters if they favor same-day voter registration.