Resolution approved regarding same-day voter registration

A resolution sponsored by Alderperson Curt Wilson and co-sponsored by Alderpersons Tod Ohnstad, Rocco LaMacchia, Daniel Prozanski, Keith Rosenberg, Scott Gordon, Jan Michalski, and Patrick Juliana was approved by a roll call vote of 11 to 2 on Wednesday night at the Common Council Meeting.  Those alderpersons voting against were Alderpersons Steve Bostrom and David Bogdala.  The resolution urged the governor to veto any legislation that would eliminate registration at the polls.

Bostrom wanted the resolution to be referred to the Legislative Commission.  He stated that he was not aware of any pending legislation to limit any registration at the polls.  He also said that the Council has a body that should meet regularly, and that this is one of the issues that should be reviewed by that committee.

Alderperson Daniel Prozanski urged the Council not to support the referral.  He said, “Act 10 was pushed through at the state level quickly.  It was a circus of events.  The Legislative Commission wouldn’t have been up on that one.  This is straightforward.  It would keep same-day legislation at the polls.  This would keep it alive.  Vote against the referral and vote for it (the resolution).”

Wilson, the sponsor of the resolution, also urged approval.  This would protect the tradition across the state.  “For your information,” he said, “on election day, here in Kenosha, 6,800 registered to vote.  There were greater than 10,000 voters in the county that registered in November.  There have been rumblings within the state house about this.  We want to be in front of that.  Governor Walker announced his intent to look into this at another state.  The legislature in Madison is toying with the idea.”

Alderperson David Bogdala was in favor of the referral to the Legislative Commission and voting against the resolution.  He said that he agreed with 95% of the whereas’s, but there is no bill.  He also said that he made some calls, including the City Clerk’s Office.  “If there was a bill in the assembly or the senate, I’d be happy to co-sponsor this.  But, we are setting a dangerous precedence by sponsoring resolutions based on ‘rumblings.’  The Governor backed away from the item.  We don’t need to beat him with a stick.  If the state assembly man articulated anything, we have a new assembly man who would do all he can.  I’m glad there’s no bill.  If there was, I would not support it.”

The voice vote on referral of this resolution to the Legislative Commission failed.  Alderperson Anthony Kennedy made an amendment to the resolution.  He wanted a copy of the resolution sent to the County Clerk; this was approved.

Alderperson Steve Bostrom said that he would not support the resolution for the same reasons that Bogdala mentioned.  “This is a slippery slope.  We can’t be putting together a resolution every week on hearsay or on a whim.  This is not the approriate venue to vette these ideas.  I supported the alderperson from the 6th district (Tod Ohnstad) as an assemblyman.  He would hear from me if there were any issues that I disagreed with.”

Alderperson G. John Ruffolo stated that he liked Kennedy’s amendment.  He also wanted the County Board and the County Supervisors to receive copies.  All agreed.  The roll call vote was 11 to 2 in favor of the resolution.  Those two voting against were Bostrom and Bogdala.


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