Despite sweeping a whole lot of Republicans into the voter suppression net, the state GOP is about to go further than before. Boosted by a "liberal" Dane County Federal court's decision that Walker's voter ID law is constitutional (I know, now the courts here are good), new laws are needed to make the act of voting a Rubik's cube mess, with hundreds of pages of legalese no one in our Capitol is going to read. But with the courts deciding the law is the law, no matter the intent, we're about to lose the state to one party rule. Lets call that a banana republic.
Here's the mess:
Here's the mess:
PRWatch: A Wisconsin legislator has managed to bundle nearly all of the excesses associated with dirty elections into a single bill that good government advocates are describing as a "sweeping assault on democracy:"
1. Reinstating restrictive voter ID requirements
2. Make it easier for donors to secretly influence elections (once a candidate announces)
3. Expand lobbyist influence
4. Restrict early voting (ending weekend voting and weekday cutoff 6 pm), and make it harder to register, among other measures.
These restrictions solve nothing, and are not on the voters to-do list. Oddly, the restrictions affect conservative voters as well.
The most troubling provision in the bill, says Jay Heck, Executive Director of Common Cause Wisconsin, is that it "codifies protection [from disclosure] for phony issue ads.
Under Rep. Jeff Stone's bill, voters will still be asked to present an ID, and if they do not have one, they must sign an affidavit swearing ... that they either are too poor to get an ID or cannot gather the necessary documentation. Heck says requiring a person to declare they are poor so they can vote, he said, is "insulting, humiliating, and demeaning."
Funny gun right activists don't want to show proof of anything, with no records kept, but are willing to restrict the rights of voters with hundreds of pages of regulations and records that can be used against them. How long before liberal neighborhoods are categorized and used to deny jobs, screen people for party loyalty, or provide a place to vote?
Rep. Stone's bill would eliminating early voting on the weekends, and during the weekdays, imposing a 6 pm cutoff. This would have a significant impact on working people. Rep. Stone has said that, "A lot of the smaller, rural communities just don't have the capacity to offer those types of extended hours." But Andrea Kaminski, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin disagrees, notes that limiting the hours for early voting would also make it more difficult for clerks in smaller municipalities in the North, many of whom work as a clerk only part-time and have a full-time day job.Clerks in rural area's are not for this restriction either, just so you know. Things were fine until some envious rural tea party loser said something to Rep.Andre Jacques, who thought, hey, I could use that to suppress votes.
Due to tea party voter harassment, this element was also added:
The bill would also make it easier to reject otherwise valid votes based on technicalities … a voter's failure to sign the poll list could amount to their vote not being counted in a recount, although it is not clear how a particular voter's ballot could be identified since Wisconsin has a private ballot. After Sen. Van Wanggaard lost ... Republicans hyped allegations of voter fraud, pointing specifically at missing signatures in the poll book. The omissions were chalked up to mistakes on the part of poll workers and the elections board refused to disenfranchise voters based on these errors. Rep. Stone's proposal would change that. "Why should a voter lose their vote based on the error of a poll worker?" Kaminski said.
The state elections board adopted a rule allowing voters to demonstrate proof of residency by showing electronic versions of documents. This bill would reverse the board's decision and explicitly prohibit the use of electronic documents for registration purposes. Kaminski said, "The only complaints came from those poll watchers" -- such as those trained by True the Vote -- "who wanted to see the documents voters were showing," she said. "But that is not their job."
McCabe is more blunt. "It is a sweeping assault on democracy," he said.