State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
Today, the Government Accountability Board (GAB) voted to allow the use of electronic forms of proof of residency. Meaning, people registering to vote will be able to prove residency by displaying a utility bill on a smart phone, for example.
The Board came to its decision despite the recommendation from GAB staff that the Board continue with the current requirement that proof of residency be in paper form.
Mike Haas, staff counsel for the GAB, wrote in an August 28, 2012 memo, Board staff believe that it needs to further research whether the Board may permit the use of such electronic documents under current law, and whether it should do so as a policy matter. These decisions require consultation with the Department of Administration and obtaining feedback from our municipal clerk partners and the public
Keeping up to date with the pace of technology is important; however, not at the expense of election integrity. I am surprised that the GAB would so hastily vote against the recommendations of its own staff counsel.
A utility bill on a smart phone with a 3 inch screen looks a lot different than a paper bill on an 8.5x11 inch sheet of paper. Considering the practical implications for our poll workers, many of whom are seniors, I am deeply concerned by today’s decision.