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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Voting rights for felons

Legislation


Legislation has been proposed in Madison to restore voting rights to convicted felons that have not served their entire sentence. If approved, the legislation would affect about 42, 000 felons in Wisconsin.

Current Wisconsin law takes away voting rights from felons until they have served their complete sentences including probation or parole after being released from prison.

This is risky legislation. Following the 2000 presidential election, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discovered and reported that at least 361 felons on supervision had voted illegally in Milwaukee. An investigation of the November 2004 election in the city of Milwaukee by U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic and then-Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann found that more than 200 felons voted illegally.

The change in current law being advocated would dilute the severity of the punishment for felonies. Felons working to reintegrate and become productive members of society should use the right to vote as an incentive to cleanly serve out their sentences. I oppose relaxing current law that is an affront to law-abiding citizens.

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