A new regulation asking for both a signature and a printed name is resulting into a whole lot of dropped names on nomination forms. Turns out, most people don’t print their names out any better than their signature. Who knew? GOP election suppression zealots, that's who.
The lawmakers responsible now want a more lax enforcement of their own rule, kind of like making up as you go. Remember how Republicans insisted on the immediate enforcement of voter suppression laws? Now that it's affecting Republicans, we're being asked to forget the letter of the law, and violate the intent for political reasons.
Chippewa: The Republican chairwoman of the Assembly Campaigns and Elections Committee, Rep. Kathleen Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, chastised the state elections agency Tuesday for its strict application of a new law requiring printed names on candidate nomination forms. “I am disappointed as a colleague of the GAB that they would go this far. Bernier said she would ask the GAB at its next meeting to stop staff from determining what is and isn't printed and to instead determine what is readable ... Rep. Jim Ott, R-Mequon, the author of the law, said it was meant to ensure the names of people who signed those documents are legible.
That's not what the law says. And, people don’t print any better than they write.
GAB spokesman Reid Magney said “Our interpretation is that to qualify, a name must be both printed and legible. Cursive handwriting, no matter how legible, is not printed.”
Weird, but those are the rules, and Republicans are getting hit:
Barry Nelson, a Manitowoc Republican running for an open state Senate seat, initially turned in 470 signatures, but after review saw the number knocked down to 369, below the 400 minimum for state Senate candidates. A GAB staff member told him many of the names were stricken because of an illegibly printed name. “He said if they looked too squiggly that could be construed as an extra signature and not a printed name,” Nelson said. “If you can make out your name, who cares if it’s squiggly?”
Craig Krueger, a 20-year-old college senior from Hilbert, filed 237 nomination signatures Monday. But about a half-hour before the deadline, a GAB official told him that all of his signatures were invalid and he was off the fall ballot.
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