Oct 15, 2013

Republicans Still Trying to Rig Elections in Wisconsin, Citizens Be Damned

Republicans say: Not qualified to vote
Update: Authoring Judge in Landmark Case Disavows His Former Support for Voter ID (Schwartz. NYT)

Doug Chapin, Rick Hasen and the Washington Post note new Republican efforts to micromanage Wisconsin elections right down to the poll worker, and continuing efforts to obstruct voters.

Republican legislative efforts to manage which voters get to vote were deemed unconstitutional in ongoing legal, civil rights fights that will likely continue for years across the nation.

Civil actions continue in Wisconsin state and federal courts, including two consolidated federal cases slated for trial on November 4.

Republicans will of course stick to the James Sensenbrenner-Scott Walker-GOP BS line that photo voter IDs are "common sense" measures to prevent voter impersonation fraud, though the GOP is fully aware no that virtually no voter fraud exists out of the 100s of millions of votes cast.

And potentially 100,000s of Wisconsin citizens could be disenfranchised were Wisconsin's voter ID law made operative in a high-turnout election like that in November 2014. That's in Wisconsin alone.

Chaos, confusion, voter frustration, long lines and anger are the predictable results, with voter disenfranchisement as the objective.

A voter presents a GOP-approved ID, two election inspectors (poll workers) check it for photo resemblance, date and signature and these new qualifications to vote are met.

Oh, sorry Carol, longtime neighbor, you left your license at work: No vote for you!

The One Day Voter ID Was Used in Wisconsin

Let's take a look at the one day, February 14, 2012, in Wisconsin when registered, constitutionally qualified voters were forced to present photo voter IDs when walking up to the poll books before casting their vote.

On February 14, 2012, primary day in Wisconsin, there were no statewide elections; the Wisconsin Government Accountability Office did not estimate voter turn-out because of this fact and the related fact of very low voter-turnout that informed observers guessed was about four percent statewide.

Republicans present this four percent February 2012 primary election is having proceeded swimmingly, and therefore high turnout elections (say 60 percent) will by GOP logic be just fine.

Wrong and wrong.

Reposted from February 2012:

Update III: Madison voters turned away at polls for lacking photo ID. "She was fairly recently in a car accident and couldn't make it to the DOT to get a Wisconsin ID," said Melanie Sax, the chief elections inspector at the polling location at Trinity United Methodist Church on Vilas Avenue. The woman, who does not drive, has neither a driver's license nor a state ID.

That woman is Marge Curtin—disenfranchised.

Update II: 69-year old veteran Gil Paar was shocked when poll workers told him his photo I.D. from the V.A. wasn’t on the accepted list. ... “There’s a possibility that a veteran could have only this type of I.D., because he’s had a stroke, let’s say, up at the V.A. hospital. And because of that, he had his driver’s license taken away. So case in point, he would have only this Veterans Administration I.D. through the hospital.

“And they’re telling me I can’t use it, I couldn’t use it. this is not right. you’ve got a guy who serves, does his time in the Air Force, or Army or the Navy, and then he comes home and can’t vote? What the f—- did I go in for?” (Racine Jounral-Times)

Update: U.S. senators on Tuesday asked the Government Accountability Office to study what they called an "alarming number" of new state laws that will make it "significantly harder" for millions of eligible voters to cast ballots this November.

As an observer from the NAACP looked on, the 200-plus voters in one Fitchburg, Wisconsin voting district yesterday presented an electorate irritated with the GOP's new voter ID requirements.

Wisconsin's voter ID law was passed without any Democratic votes, and no dissenting Republican votes.

Rejected, per the new statute (Act 23), yesterday was an Army Reserve ID that did not include an expiration date.

Many comments from voters were made to election workers: Including "What's next, retina scans?" and "Here to pay my poll tax."

One woman who was inexplicably purged from the polls and tried to re-register objected to the voter registration process as too invasive.

Though the voter ID law, Republicans say, is intended to stop rampant voter impersonation at the polls, not one case of voter impersonation in Wisconsin has been prosecuted going back decades.

But Republicans remain optimistic they can stop enough Democratic-leaning citizens from voting to sway a close election, concentrating on suppressing college and tech students, the elderly and black voters in Milwaukee.

A research report by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute shows that over 177,000 elderly persons in Wisconsin aged 65 and older do not possess a driver's license or state photo identification.

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