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Unclear if election-hours bill will advance

MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A bill to put more limits on early voting in Wisconsin appears to have an uncertain future, after the Senate passed it yesterday. The Assembly has not said whether it would take up the measure, and Senate G-O-P Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is not sure, either. Also, Governor Scott Walker is not saying whether he'd sign the bill.

It would prohibit early absentee voting on weekends and after seven-at-night in the two weeks before election days. That's after Republicans reduced the early voting period in 2011 from three weeks to two. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett called it a "mean-spirited" attempt by Republicans to suppress the vote in heavily-Democratic Milwaukee and Madison.

Senate Democrat Lena Taylor of Milwaukee called it "backward-thinking mentality" and said quote, "I feel like I'm in 1906, fighting the fights that people who came long before me had to fight." Fitzgerald repeated G-O-P concerns that voters in rural areas don't have as many early voting hours as the bigger cities due to a lack of resources. The Senate approved an amendment yesterday that would give about 200-thousand dollars in state funds to rural communities to help cover the costs of their early voting.

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