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.
Wisconsin is raising awareness about its Move Over Law.
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) is putting up information signs on the interstate.
Governor Doyle has signed a bill into law that I supported that will require instruction about the Move Over Law in driver education classes.
Here is a history of the bill that has a link to a Legislative Council memo and the enacted law.
Please check out the DOT website for audio and video public service announcements that tell why the Move Over law is so important Wisconsin.
If those public service announcements aren’t convincing enough, maybe this emotional news piece from WISN-TV Channel 12 will get the message across.
After the Legislature approved Real ID in the 2005 legislative session that I supported, Governor Doyle signed the measure into law on March 10, 2006.
The DHS website says:
“REAL ID is a law and rule that establishes minimum standards for state-issued driver's licenses and personal identification cards. REAL ID compliant drivers licenses and ID cards will allow you to board a federally-regulated airplane, access a federal facility or a nuclear power plant.
The REAL ID Act of 2005, was passed by Congress to make it more difficult to fraudulently acquire a drivers license or ID card, as part of the effort to fight terrorism and reduce fraud.
REAL ID compliant licenses and ID cards must meet minimum standards which include
- information and security features that must be incorporated into each card
- proof of identity and U.S. citizenship or legal status of an applicant
- verification of the source documents provided by an applicant
- security standards for the offices that issue licenses and identification cards
With more and more citizens demanding a photo ID requirement to vote, there is another trend that is slowly developing in American elections.
The number of people who prefer not to vote in-person on Election Day and would rather mail in their vote is increasing. In fact, the state of Oregon is the first and only state in the country where all voting is done by mail. Other states are taking notice and have either implemented the system in some areas or are exploring the concept.
One of the reasons for the increase in mail voting is the relative ease of obtaining an absentee ballot. All a voter need do in many states is request an absentee ballot. No reason or explanation is necessary.
Governing Magazine goes so far as to say, “The traditional precinct election, where everyone shows up on the appointed day, is in the process of decline.”
Most states use an election system that is part in-person, part mail-in. But the eyes of election officials are on Oregon because its system is thought to be simpler, not to mention more convenient for voters who have time to study and research ballots before making choices. Once the ballot is filled out, it can be mailed or dropped off at government offices.
Supporters also claim since voters gets ballots a few weeks before election, they serve as reminders that will lead to people casting votes even in low-profile elections where they may have otherwise forgot or were unaware. Even so, requiring ballots to be mailed in has increased voter participation only slightly.
Some election officials value a mailing system, not because of convenience or simplicity, but out of necessity. The average poll worker in America is 72 years old. The number of precinct stations to vote is dropping. If voters are required to mail in ballots, the need for polling places and poll workers disappears.
If the system is so appealing, why aren’t more states jumping on the bandwagon? One reason is the ease with which absentee ballots are available. There is also concern about fraud, undue pressure applied to a voter from a family member, and the sanctity of the secret ballot lost now that it has left the polling place.
Clearly this is an election issue that will receive further study and a great amount of attention in the future all across the country.
Here is the story from Governing Magazine.
Here are details on obtaining an absentee ballot in Wisconsin.