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Mike Bloomberg unveils his All-In Economy initiative in Chicago, Illinois on Jan. 8, 2020.

Late last year, Mike Bloomberg announced he was running for president. With the election fast approaching, Bloomberg has been releasing his plans and policies. Earlier this month, Bloomberg released his plan regarding voting.

Since the 2016 election, voting has become a bigger part of the discussion specifically voter accessibility and voter protection. Issues include accessibility to a polling place, the reliability of machines that count the ballots and voter turnout.

Brian Reich, a spokesperson for Bloomberg, said that there’s two main aspects to Bloomberg’s plan: one is making sure voting is accessible for eligible voters and two is ensuring voter and election protection.

“That’s one part is making sure everyone can vote,” Reich said. “The other half is making sure their votes are counted.”

Bloomberg’s policy contains four main parts. He wants to protect voting rights for all Americans, prevent gerrymandering and eliminate partisan influence in elections, make it easier for registered voters to cast their ballot and modernize election infrastructure for a safe and secure election procedure. 

These issues exist in Wisconsin and throughout the nation. One of the biggest threats Wisconsin voters face is gerrymandering. Gerrymandering occurs during reapportionment or the redrawing of district lines when boundaries are swayed to favor one party or class over another and thus rigging the system.

Bloomberg wants to prevent partisan gerrymandering; however, reapportionment is determined by the state government. Reich said that Bloomberg’s plan doesn’t involve telling states how to draw boundaries.

Instead, Bloomberg wants to have an independent commission offer insight on state lines. He also wants the federal government to create a set of criteria or best practices that states could look to during reapportionment. The practices would be developed by an independent commission.

Reich explained that in a democracy everyone has the right to vote and preventing gerrymandering would make it easier for anyone to vote, which is something everyone should want.

“Mike [Bloomberg] is opposed to anything that makes it more difficult to vote,” Reich said.

Under Bloomberg’s first point, protecting voting rights for all Americans, Bloomberg wants to block states from purging voters, restore voting rights to people with felony convictions and launch an education campaign on voting rights for the public.

The purging of voter rolls is a big issue in Wisconsin. Currently, 200,000 voters could be purged from Wisconsin’s voter rolls. According to Bloomberg’s policy about 17 million voters were purged nationwide between 2016 and 2018.

Another big issue in Wisconsin is restoring voters, rights for people with felony convictions. Although a felon’s eligibility is determined by the state, Bloomberg wants to make it easier for ex-felons to vote.

Bloomberg’s policy contains four main parts. He wants to protect voting rights for all Americans, prevent gerrymandering and eliminate partisan influence in elections, make it easier for registered voters to cast their ballot and modernize election infrastructure for a safe and secure election procedure.

Bloomberg wants to help eliminate the number of steps it would take for a formerly incarcerated person to regain their right to vote.

A part of Bloomberg’s policy is public education, which he believes needs to come from the top, Reich said. The education would address topics such as voter registration, voter turnout and voter rights. Understanding early voting practices, election security and more would likewise be addressed.

In addition to making it easier for ex-felons, Bloomberg wants to make it easier and convenient for everyone to vote. This would include, automatic voter registration when someone goes to a state government agency such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, same day registration, which exists in Wisconsin, online registration and early voting.

So far, the finer details of the policy, such as cost, have yet to be determined. Reich noted that voting has been a priority of Bloomberg’s long before he announced his campaign.

“Mike [Bloomberg] believes in the importance of democracy and that’s why he’s made this a priority,” Reich said.

The presidential primary election in Wisconsin will take place on Tuesday, April 7, and the presidential election is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

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