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Wisconsin Senate to vote on limiting voting, write-ins

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin State Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on election-related issues, like limited voting.

Senate moves to pass bill limiting voting hours

The Wisconsin state Senate has moved one step short of passing a bill that would limit early voting in the two weeks before an election.

Democratic opponents used a procedural move Tuesday to prevent a final vote on passing the bill until Wednesday.

The bill would restrict in-person absentee voting to between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays in the two weeks before an election. No weekend hours would be allowed and total voting hours would be limited to no more than 45 hours per week.

Democrats and other opponents say the intention is to make it more difficult for Democratic voters in urban areas to vote. But Republican supporters say voters still have plenty of opportunity to cast early ballots.

Write-in candidates wouldn't have to be counted

Mickey Mouse, Aaron Rodgers and other famous people and characters entered as write-in candidates for public office would not have to be counted any longer under a bill passed by the Wisconsin state Senate.

Current law requires every vote be counted for the candidate it was intended, even if it's Mickey Mouse or Bart Simpson. Election officials say that can be a time-consuming, laborious process.

The bill passed on a voice vote Tuesday would require in most cases that write-in candidates only be counted for registered candidates. If a certified candidate dies or withdraws before the election, all write-in votes would be counted.

The proposal now heads to the Assembly, where it also must pass and be signed by Gov. Scott Walker before becoming law.

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