Oppose Cut to County Voter Education Funds


The Dane County Board Executive Committee, at its October meeting, voted to add $25,000 to the County Clerk's budget for voter education. LWVDC registered in support of this increase. In the past, county voter education funds have been used to provide cab rides to the DMV for persons who needed an ID, for printing of voter outreach materials, and for research to determine the impact of the voter ID law on potential voters.

On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, the Personnel and Finance Committee will take up the proposed Dane County Budget, and they will be considering a budget amendment to reduce the voter education funds for the Dane County Clerk from $25,000 to $10,000.

The Dane County League believes that voter education is still of critical importance. Recent research on the impact of voter ID on Dane and Milwaukee Counties' voter turnout estimates that as many as 23,000 people in the two counties were deterred from voting because they either did not have a valid ID, or believed that they did not have one, even if they did. So there is still great confusion among voters about voting requirements. 

Furthermore, in January, 2018, the Odana Road and Sheboygan Avenue Service Centers of the DMV will move to a single new location on Excelsior Drive, outside the Beltline. This move to a location with extremely limited bus service is likely to be an additional barrier to those who need to visit the DMV to get an ID for voting or to enter the ID petition process in time to vote in the February 20th primary for Supreme Court Justice (and possibly other offices). Dane County needs to continue to provide public information and assistance to ensure that persons with disabilities and economically disadvantaged people are not deprived of the opportunity to vote because they need help understanding the voter ID requirements. 

It is critical that the Dane County Clerk have adequate funds to help educate Dane County voters in a year with four important statewide elections.

What to do: Please contact your county supervisor about this issue. [Find your supervisor here.]
These members serve on the Personnel and Finance Committee: ANDREW SCHAUER, BILL CLAUSIUS, CARL CHENOWETH, CHUCK ERICKSON, JEFF PERTL, JENNI DYE, PATRICK MILES, SHARON CORRIGAN, SHELIA STUBBS. If your county supervisor does not serve on this committee, let him/her know that the Personnel and Finance Committee plans to discuss this issue on Wednesday or Thursday evening.

Please tell him/her that it is important to the proper functioning of our democracy that citizens understand voting requirements. Ask them to oppose the amendment to reduce the County Clerk's budget for voter education. 

When to do it: The committee may discuss this amendment Wednesday or Thursday night (11/15 or 11/16). Therefore, contact your supervisor as soon as possible, but certainly before Wednesday at 5 pm.

Thank you!