Wisconsin's elections agency says ending same-day registration could leave the state vulnerable to more lawsuits.
A recent report by the Government Accountability Board said ending same-day registration would cost the state $5 million. At its first board meeting to discuss the findings, board staff also said the switch could open up the state to lawsuits. Board Director Kevin Kennedy says that's because federal law would require the DMV and other agencies to start registering voters, "You have entities whose primary job isn't to do voter registration, and as we saw with other states, that wasn't their high priority. They wanted to process drivers' licenses, they wanted to make sure the benefits got out to people with public assistance. And they were not doing that kind of work. That's what brought more federal oversight into them. And that's why we commented that we could be more vulnerable."
Even prior to this meeting, the board's report on ending same-day registration had caused some supporters of such a move to think twice. In particular, Gov. Scott Walker said the cost was too great and that he would not sign a bill that would end Election Day registration in Wisconsin.