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Election officials still awaiting final costs for ending same-day voter registration

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin election officials are still waiting to learn what the final costs would be for ending voter registrations on Election Day.

State elections’ administrator Mike Haas told the Government Accountability Board Monday he’s still waiting for cost estimates from a couple of state agencies – and he’ll put out the final numbers as soon as he can.

In December, Board staffers said they would have to spend $5.2 million to follow federal election rules from which Wisconsin is exempt because it has same day registration. And they’d have to spend another $1 million a year after that on things like federally-required mailings to voters.

Also, the state Transportation Department and some other agencies would have extra expenses. That’s because the state would need to adopt a federally-required “motor voter” system, where people can register to vote at the same time they apply for drivers’ licenses or public benefits.

Some Republicans say it’s worth the cost, in the name of fighting voter fraud. But GOP Governor Scott Walker says he doesn’t want to spend millions to end same-day voter registration – even though he supports the concept.

A number of Republicans have complained over the years that same-day voter registration helps Democrats. 

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