Sunday, December 16th

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Surrounded by members of his caucus, Assembly Leader Robin Vos, R-Rochester, speaks to reporters Tuesday at the Capitol in Madison(Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

Wednesday's move by lawmakers to rein in early voting in Wisconsin will disenfranchise voters and create confusion for election officials already awaiting a court ruling on the issue as they head into a February primary, election officials and observers said.

"This will create an unnecessary hardship for a lot of voters. And I don't think creating unnecessary hardship is consistent with democracy," said Neil Albrecht, executive director of the Election Commission for the City of Milwaukee, where almost 10 percent of voters cast in-person absentee ballots in November's midterm elections.

Erin Grunze, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, said the move is inconsistent with its position that elections should be "free, fair and accessible to all."

"Anytime you reduce access to the polls, it's going to disenfranchise voters," said Grunze.