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GAB: Four state agencies could be sued if same day voter registration dropped


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Four state agencies which give out public benefits could be sued if Wisconsin drops Election Day voter registration.

Government Accountability Board attorney Mike Haas told the panel Tuesday the departments of Transportation, Health Services, Children and Families, and Workforce Development would probably face lawsuits at some time.

That’s because they would be required to carry out the federal Motor Voter act, from which the Badger State is currently exempt because it has same-day registration.

Haas said any citizens could sue an agency if they don’t believe they’re doing enough to follow the Motor Voter law. And if the agencies lose a lawsuit, taxpayers would be on the hook for the state’s legal fees.

GAB director Kevin Kennedy said he believes the four agencies would be, “very vulnerable” to such lawsuits.

Some GOP lawmakers still say they plan to submit a bill next month to end same-day registration – even though it would the Accountability Board over $5 million to follow other federal regulations that would kick in – including mailings to voters.

Also, Tuesday, the Board said it would take no action on a request to check federal databases to see if illegal immigrants are voting. That could cost the state over $1 million in a five-year period.

Board Chairman David Deininger said the panel would leave that issue to the Legislature to decide.