Milwaukee County Supervisor Khalif Rainey said today that a proposal to limit early voting hours, calling it "a broadside to the ability of minority voters to turn out at the polls."
"This is one of the most anti-democratic proposals ever cooked up by those who want to limit minority participation in the election process," Rainey said of Senate Bill 324. "Who benefits from eliminating early voting hours? The very people who are proposing this legislation. This is a piece of legislation that should be rejected by anyone who believes we need to expand access to voting, not restrict it." SB 342, currently under consideration in the Senate, would limit early voting to 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Currently, early voting is available two weeks before an election, ending on the Friday before the election.
"This bill limits accessibility to the polls, and it will create longer lines and more difficulties in getting out the vote," Rainey said. "While this bill is, according to its supporters, aimed at creating more uniformity between urban and rural counties, it is actually aimed at suppressing the urban vote, especially the minority community. "We need to make elections more inclusive, not more restrictive. This bill will do damage to minority participation in elections, and I can only believe that is its main purpose."