City Times Staff
State Representative Katrina Shankland (Stevens Point) and State Sen. Julie Lassa are calling to expanded early voting hours.
The two have called on Gov. Scott Walker to take action in coordination with local election officials to expand voting hours this weekend.
The request comes after reports indicate that a failed state server cut off access to critical voter data for local clerks as well as DMV officials attempting to issue state-issued voter identification cards in the lead up to Tuesday’s primary election.
“I am joining my Democratic colleagues in calling for expanded voting hours, given the technological failure that occurred within the Department of Administration earlier [Friday] morning,” Shankland said in an email statement. “The glitch left clerks in the dark while trying to access the state’s voter registration system as they attempted to issue absentee ballots.”
Lassa places the blame on the state’s GOP.
“Today’s computer malfunction clearly demonstrates the impact of the laws Republicans have passed in recent years to make it harder for eligible Wisconsin citizens to vote,” Lassa’s statement read in part. “For half the day Friday, problems with the state computer network, managed by the Department of Administration, prevented individuals from getting drivers licenses and photo ID documents that are now required to be able to vote.”
According to Lassa, the malfunction also created “long delays” in enabling individuals to register to vote or cast absentee ballots at municipal clerks’ offices during the final day of early voting before the election, and shut down the Government Accountability Board’s voter information website.
“I expect a detailed explanation from the DOA about how this could have happened, and how they will prevent it in the future,” Lassa wrote. “Regardless, the outcome is yet another hurdle for people who only want to exercise their right to vote and have a say in their government.”
Shankland was equally tough on Republicans.
“Republican legislators have already put up so many hurdles to voting that an unexpected technology glitch exacerbates an already existing problem of accessing the ballot,” Shankland wrote. “Extending voting and DMV hours leading up to Tuesday’s election is in the best interest of Wisconsin voters, and I call on Governor Walker to act immediately.”