February 14, 2016

Eliminating same day registration could cost state $5.2 million

A report from the state Government Accountability Board says eliminating Election Day registration in Wisconsin could cost millions of dollars.

The GAB estimates it would cost the agency almost $5.2 million, if lawmakers move forward with a proposal to do away with a law that allows voters to register at their polling place on Election Day. The report also indicates it would cost about $2 million a year after the initial switch.

Those costs would largely come from having to change how the state maintains voter registration lists, retraining of staff, and public education campaigns that would be needed to inform voters about registering in advance of Election Day.

The report also notes that Wisconsin would have to comply with additional federal laws if same day registration goes away. Those include creating a system that allows voters to register at DMV offices and with other state agencies, which would likely run up additional expenses not included in the estimated GAB costs.

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