|Wisconsin State Senator Dale Schultz|
Schultz announced his opposition to AB 54 and Senate Bill 324 through an aide in a phone conversation with Mal Contends this morning, effectively killing the anti-early voting legislation.
Schultz cited conversations with local election officials and small-town Wisconsin clerks who say they "prefer the flexibility they now have and are tired of Madison (the legislature and governor's office) trying to control and tell localities how to do their business."
Schultz also said through his legislative aide that "the party of Lincoln, T.R., Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan has worked to make it easier to vote, and not harder. It's in the traditional Republican vein to help voting."
The bill would limit in-person, absentee voting (early voting) for all municipalities across Wisconsin to the hours of 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday-Friday. No observers see the bill as anything but a move against voters to help Republicans win office.
Schultz has criticized the new Republican Party in Wisconsin as captured by extreme special interests, explaining this it why he is leaving the Wisconsin legislature.
Schultz said he will join Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) in voting 'No' if SB 324 comes to a floor vote despite losing in the Wisconsin State Senate Committee on Elections and Urban Affairs, 3-2 after Lasee's 'No' vote.
As all 15 Wisconsin Democratic Senators are against the bill, Schultz' opposition makes a floor vote on the bill unlikely as it would lose 17-16.
Though many will see Schultz' opposition as a slap in the face of the bill's author, Sen. Glenn Grothman (West Bend), and Scott Walker, Schultz said his vote is based on his district's local officials' preference and the pro-voting history of the traditional Republican Party, as opposed to today's Republican Party that appears intent on controlling local communities.