Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Federal lawyers should bring their ID's to disintegrating WI election process

Scott Walker and his allies are deliberately confusing and obstructing voters as the election approaches.

In a democratic society, elected officials should not turn the path to the ballot box into an obstacle course.
Walker and his strategists figure that lowering participation statewide in an off-year election when turnout generally favors Republicans - - as opposed to higher-turnout elections in Presidential years where Democrats have the edge - - could help him win a contest which polling shows is currently tied and keep his Presidential fantasies alive.

Look at what Walker and his GOP legislative allies have done as the statewide election approaches:
Already trimmed the number of days and hours statewide for early absentee voting, even ending weekend voting hours most useful to working people, parents with children, and voters who traditionally voted after a Sunday church service:
This is the second time Republicans have set limits on early voting since Walker and GOP lawmakers took control of state government in January 2011. That year, the Legislature cut early voting from three weeks, including three weekends, to two weeks, including one weekend.
*  Established cumbersome and discriminatory voter ID requirements, despite an absence of evidence that showing a picture ID prevents ballot-box fraud.
It's a remedy for no known problem - - other than buttressing a faltering Governor looking for any edge in a close election.
* Directed tens of thousands of regular voters to get a state ID or facilitate its issuance at DMV offices that in two-thirds of Wisconsin's counties are open less than half-time.
At the voter ID hearing before a gimme federal appeals court panel of judges in Chicago last week, the state's lawyer argued that having to show a voter ID at a polling place was no more difficult or unreasonable than showing an ID he was required to produce to enter the federal building where the hearing was held.
But suppose the state's lawyer had been directed to show his ID at a security station that was closed, and not scheduled to reopen until the following week? And was directed to a security checkpoint in Skokie or Waukegan or only a bus or El ride half-an-hour away? Then what?
Let's hope that ruling can be reversed, as is now being sought.
Helped to throw into doubt the validity of more than 11,000 absentee votes already cast, and more ballots legitimately requested, by applying the photo ID production requirement after the fact.
The governor's race could easily be decided by less than 11,000 votes.
Litigated in the last few hours - - on the flimsiest of grounds - - the design of this year's ballot, throwing more sand into the gears and muddying a process they continue to devalue.
Their goal is to keep using state power they control to gum up the election process, obstruct its accessibility and otherwise discourage turnout.
Call it enhanced voter suppression.
Where are the US Justice Department voting and civil rights attorneys? They need to bring their ID's and clout into the process.

Cross-posted at The Political Environment at Purple Wisconsin,


Anonymous said...

It's long past time for the U S Dept. of Justice to look at Wisconsin's elections and the violations of Wisconsin's campaign finance laws. Walker has control over the DMV administrators, just as he does all agencies. Don't think for a minute that a DMV office will bust their hump to get a voter an I d who has questionable verification of their right to vote. If they go the extra mile it will be their job. That's the way it works in Walker's brand of government. Ask anyone who works in a state agency...the decisions come from Walker's office and are passed on by the agency questions are asked none are allowed!

Veteran who earned the right to vote. said...

EXACTLY! Where the hell are the US Justice Department voting and civil rights attorneys?

Anytime ladies and gentlemen the citizens in Wisconsin would like their voting access left alone.

Voter suppression is clearly what is going on in Wisconsin.