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Madison Landlords Must Provide Voter Registration Forms To Renters

July 19, 2012

I recently stated my support for the idea of Madison landlords being required to provide voter registration information to new renters.

Bridget Maniaci is the lead sponsor of the measure that would well serve the public, especially tenants who are often at a loss as to how to find their polling place, and how to navigate the complicated law the Republicans have foisted on this state when it comes to voting.

This week the City Council voted for the creation of the ordinance that requires landlords to provide tenants with voter registration forms.

Proponents of the requirement said it could save the city money and said it was a necessary response to tighter voting regulations enacted under Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

“I can easily say that tenants, whether they are students or non-students, are highly underrepresented at all levels of government. Anything we can do to motivate tenants to participate in governmental process is a good thing,” said Gary Pederson, of Madison.

City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl said early registrations take her staff only about half the time to process as election-day registrations. She also said it could reduce the potential for voting problems, which made it impossible for 130 Madisonians to vote in May’s recall primary and 250 in June’s recall election.

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