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Wisconsin residents may be using outdated voter registration forms

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news Duluth, 55802
Duluth News Tribune
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Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

Wisconsin’s elections agency says some residents are registering to vote using old forms that don’t comply with a new state law.

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Political parties and interest groups have regularly handed out or mailed voter registration forms in the past, and there’s nothing preventing them from doing that this year. On old forms, however, all a person had to do was fill out a valid address if it was more than 20 days before an election.

Now, according to the Government Accountability Board, a new state law requires all people to present a proof of residence in order to register to vote.

“Unfortunately with this change in the law, some people haven’t got that form quite right,” spokesman Reid Magney said.

Magney said the board has received scattered reports throughout the state from clerks being sent out-of-date voter registration forms that don’t include proof of residence. He said clerks end up having to track people down to get more information.

“It’s more work for the clerks,” Magney said. “It’s frustrating for the voters who thought they were doing everything they needed to when they filled out the form and sent it in.”

People registering by mail can send in photocopies of documents ranging from a driver’s license to a paycheck or a utility bill.

The new voter registration requirement was signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker in early April. It was one of several changes majority Republicans made to Wisconsin election law this past legislative session.

Wisconsin Public Radio can be heard in the Twin Ports at 91.3 FM or online at wpr.org/news.

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