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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.

All states beat deadline to comply with Real ID

Photo ID

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has declared that all 50 states are compliant with the Real ID driver’s license program. Maine was the last state to come on board in late March, beating the March 31, 2008 deadline. Had Maine refused to comply, the DHS would have ordered airport screeners to pat down all Maine residents before they could board airplanes.

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

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Traditional voting being replaced by the Post Office

Photo ID

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.

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Photo ID didn't stop Indiana voters

Photo ID

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Top tourism events

News you can use, Tourism

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has compiled a list of Wisconsin’s top events at state historic sites from May through December.

Here’s the list.

I’m pleased to participate in Memorial Day ceremony

Memorial Day is this Monday, May 26, 2008. I am honored once again to be a guest speaker at the Memorial Day ceremony in New Berlin.

Here are details from New Berlin Memorial Day Committee Chair Dave Ament:


Monday, May 26, 2008 is Memorial Day.

This is the only day of the year that we as a Nation have set aside to honor the men & women that gave their lives for our Freedom. We must never forget the ultimate sacrifice made by them through out the history of our Nation. All too many of us have lost sight of the true meaning of this most important day. The men and women whose heroism we both celebrate and mourn must never be taken for granted. We must do everything we can to ensure that the generations that follow will fully appreciate the sacrifices that so many have made and the sorrow their families have had to endure so that the rest of us can live in relative peace and security. 

The New Berlin Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau is proud to join the Hoeppner-Horn Bros. VFW Post 5716 & Highland Memorial Park Cemetery to make Memorial Day mean even more to the Citizens of New Berlin.

The ceremony will start at 11:00 a.m. with the VFW making their ritual march to the Veterans Memorial. Former VFW Post Commander Don Hermann will speak. Other guest
speakers will include Mayor Jack Chiovatero and State Senator Mary Lazich. This year State Representative Mark Gundrum is serving his Country in Iraq and for the first time may not be able to attend.

Members of the VFW Post will perform a rifle salute. Alderman Ted Wysocki has arranged for a Fly Over, weather permitting. New Berlin, Holy Apostles Boy Scout Troop 93 will help
direct traffic, hand out programs & flags for those who attend. There will  be a balloon release with memorial tags. Ament Industrial Truck and Moorland Auto Repair will provide the flags. The event will end with a cannon shoot. The cannon supplied by Glen Porter of
Highland Memorial Park Cemetery. The New Berlin Community Band will perform patriotic music during the ceremony.

The event should last about 45 min. to 1 hour.

Please join your New Berlin neighbors in honoring their memory.

Dave Ament
7th District Alderman, New Berlin
New Berlin Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, Board of Director
Memorial Day Committee Chair     

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