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Gov. Evers signs assembly bill

December 10, 2019

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers visited UW-River Falls the morning of Nov. 22, hosting a press conference for the official signing of Assembly Bill 168 alongside members of the Legislature and disability rights advocates.

The assembly began with Governor Evers’ arrival to UWRF’s University Center. Patty Schachtner, a member of the Wisconsin State Senate, introduced Ramsey Lee. Schachtner stated, “It has come to my attention after conversation with many constituents, like my friend Ramsey here, that our qualified voters were being stopped at the polls simply because they couldn’t verbalize their name. Our voters shouldn’t have to overcome any unique burdens simply to exercise their right to vote; it is democracy.”

Once Lee took the stage, his face lit with excitement, he continued the Press Conference to introduce Evers. He gave a little background information on Evers, followed by reasons the bill was being signed. “It should not matter what zip code you live in or if you have different abilities,” he said, “Citizens should still be able to more fully participate in the voting process. In Wisconsin, our motto is ‘Forward.’ This bill ensures that voters from Wisconsin will be able to move forward for future generations.”

Evers then took the podium and thanked Lee for his kind words and the University for hosting the conference. “It’s an honor to be here with you all today to actually sign the Assembly Bill 168 to ensure that every Wisconsinite is empowered to exercise their right to vote,” he stated. “This bill makes a simple but incredibly important change to current law in creating an accommodation for folks who communicate nonverbally, or those with developmental or physical disabilities that affect oral speech.” The goal is to create a comfortable, safe area for citizens of Wisconsin to vote, even if they are unable to orally cite their name and address. “This bill is a good example of how we can work together, connect the dots, and expand opportunities and correct systems of the past and improve our future.” He believes the bill will show that the state of Wisconsin is committed to protecting and preserving its citizens’ voting rights.