Wisconsin law allows voters to cast absentee ballots by mail or
hand them in to their polling places before election day. Supporters
have said the new law creates uniform and fair rules, while critics
have said it disenfranchises voters.
Walker, a Republican who is seeking re-election, vetoed a part of
the bill the majority Republican legislature approved that capped
voting at 45 hours per week. Voting will be allowed only on weekdays
from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at clerks' offices.
Voter rights have become a political and racial flashpoint across
the United States. Democrats generally oppose measures that restrict
voting, saying they disenfranchise minorities and young people such
as college students. Many Republicans back them, saying they are
needed to combat voter fraud.
Supporters of the Wisconsin measure said it eliminated an unfair
advantage for larger municipalities such as Milwaukee which have the
money to keep polls open longer, giving their residents more of a
chance to vote.
"The legislation gives local governments the needed flexibility
while maintaining fairness in our elections," Republican Assembly
Speaker Robin Vos said.
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United Wisconsin, a voter advocate group, said it was disappointed
that Walker did not veto the entire bill.
"His actions amount to betrayal of trust of the hundreds of
thousands of Wisconsin seniors, veterans, students, and working
people," executive director Lisa Subeck said in a statement.
(Editing by Matthew Lewis)
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