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The bill that would authorize online voter registration is terribly unfair to hundreds of thousands of eligible Wisconsin voters.

The State Journal’s Oct. 16 editorial, "Modernize voter registration," states that “Opponents of Wisconsin’s proposed legislation focus on the people left out -- those without a state ID, students whose ID does not match their school address and people without Internet access. Solutions to these problems exist.”

Yes, there is a solution, and it has been working for decades -- it is called special registration deputies. However, the bill perversely eliminates the solution.

These deputies are trained and swear an oath. They sign each voter registration form, and include their identifying number. They assist people joining our system of representative democracy by helping them complete a form and by checking and documenting their proof of residence.

Assembly Bill 389 would eliminate special registration deputies. This is disproportionately unfair to minorities, the elderly, disabled and the highly mobile (students and those in or near poverty).

The State Journal editorial suggests a “compromise,” though why the right to vote should be compromised is hard for me to understand.

Yes, online registration is overdue. However, online registration at the expense of other voters is a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution.

-- Paul Malischke, Madison

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