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Committee approves restricting early voting in Wisconsin

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - It would be harder for Wisconsinites to vote early, under a bill endorsed Thursday by the Senate Elections Committee.

On a 3-2 party line vote, majority Republicans recommended no absentee voting on nights and weekends.

Hours would be restricted to between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the two weeks before an election.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett called the bill an attempt by Republicans to limit voting in bigger cities with the most Democrats.

GOP committee chair Mary Lazich said the bill is meant to create uniform standards statewide. She noted that smaller places don't have the resources to hold night and weekend voting. Lazich also said her party worked with Democrats on the latest proposals.

Also, the committee modified a bill to let incumbent state officials receive campaign checks from lobbyists any time during election years. They endorsed a ban on those checks from January through April 15th -- earlier than the previous ban which extended to June 1st.

The panel did not act on a bill in which special interests would not have to say where they get the money to run "issue ads."  Lazich said the bill did not have enough votes to pass in the Senate.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)