Three initiatives to drastically change our elections were recently unveiled, and they have one thing in common: They're going to cost taxpayers big money.
First, a bill was circulated that would end Election Day registration, which has been in place in Wisconsin since 1976. Because this would subject Wisconsin to the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, there is a price tag. This bill does not yet have a fiscal note, but it would have had a similar impact as 2007's AB-158, which would have had startup costs of $170,000.
Second, a bill was circulated that would require all citizens to have photo ID to vote. The fiscal note from a nearly identical bill in 2009 (SB-199) had a startup cost of $188,000. In addition, this bill would provide state ID cards at no charge, which would knock a $2 million hole in the annual Department of Transportation budget.
Third, the legislators gave a blank check to a private law firm. Their official written directive is to draw maps for redistricting. Their unwritten goal is to use taxpayer money to solidify power for the current majority by gerrymandering, a technique developed by Elbridge Gerry, a Massachusetts governor in the early 19th century.
Is this the fiscal restraint that you voted for?