Evers vetoes Republican bill barring election administration grants to local jurisdictions

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MADISON (WKBT) — Gov. Tony Evers vetoed one of several bills Republicans passed in the Legislature that would crimp local jurisdictions as they administer elections in Wisconsin.
The legislation comes as Republican-controlled legislatures in states across the country are taking up similar or related measures to restrict voting processes. One week ago, the governor called to receive thee bills, among others, without delay, including the Assembly Bill 173 he vetoed Wednesday, and Senate Bills 203, 204, 205, 210, 212, and 292.
Despite that request, the Legislature has declined to present the other requested bills to the governor.
Assembly Bill 173 would have prohibited accepting private grants or donations for election administration. It also would have barred state agencies, counties and municipalities from entering into contracts that include any election requirements or the transfer of any duty related to election administration to a person who does not have that duty under state law.
“I am vetoing this bill because I object to restrictions on local governments potentially using supplemental funding for election administration,” Evers wrote in vetoing Assembly Bill 173. “During the coronavirus pandemic, our state and local election officials performed admirable to ensure the 2020 elections in our communities were conducted freely, fairly, and in accordance by our election laws.”
In doing so, the jurisdictions received non-governmental grants that helped them conduct safe elections in extraordinary circumstances, the governor wrote, adding that those resources were used to pay poll workers and ensure safety of the workers and voters.
Prohibiting such grants would unnecessarily restrict use of resources that might be needed for secure, safe elections, Evers wrote.
Evers’ entire veto message for Assembly Bill 173 is available on the governor’s legislative website.