Nov 10, 2013

GOP Moves to Stop Testimony on African American and Latino Voter Obstruction

Drawing by George Grosz - Keep this dark guy
from voting or making any other trouble,
by any means necessary
"Moreover, law makers have embarked on a new voter suppression tactic: voter identification requirements. The tactic involves imposing new laws and rules requiring voters to show identification in order to vote, despite virtually no evidence of voter misidentification fraud. Identification requirements pose a special burden to the poor, racial minorities, and senior citizens who often do not have specific forms of identification. The pretextual color-blind race neutrality argument made by state legislators rings hollow when this nation’s history of voting obstruction is considered."
- E. Earl Parson and Monique McLaughlin (Columbia Journal of Race and Law; Vol 3.1, pp 103-118) (2013)

Now there a couple of good rebuttal witnesses for civil rights activists in the landmark trial of the Wisconsin Photo Voter ID law used for voter obstruction, in violation of the Voting Rights Act. I'm no attorney but I would get a hold of these folks.
Leland Beatty of Ethnic Technologies LLC will offer expert testimony in the Wisconsin voter ID trial.

Beatty will explain how African American and Latino registered voters are stopped from voting by Wisconsin Act 23, the GOP Photo Voter ID law passed with unanimous GOP support against the opposition of Democrats, civil rights groups, voting rights groups and local officials.

Voter obstruction, it's as Republican as opposition to women's' reproductive health.

What has the GOP in a tizzy about Leland Beatty is the plaintiffs' plan to put Beatty on the stand as an expert witness, and also put on the stand a former employee of Ethnic Technologies, John Mas, to describe what Ethnic Technologies does in plain, lay language.

Reads the plaintiffs' November 4, 2013 motion on the matter:
Mr. Beatty will testify about the impact of the voter ID provisions of 2011 Wisconsin Act 23 on African American and Latino voters. Specifically, Mr. Beatty’s expert testimony will include an analysis of the percentages of African American and Latino registered voters who lack driver’s licenses or state-issued identification cards that match their voter records, and how those compare to the percentages of white voters who lack similar identification. ... Plaintiffs contacted Mr. John Mas, a former employee of Ethnic Technologies, and asked him to offer factual testimony describing Ethnic Technologies and the services it performs. 
Yep, Mr. Mas must be stopped, the GOP lawyers say.

And that goes double for African American and Latino voters.

The federal trial features two consolidated cases, Frank v. Walker, (Case 11cv1128), and League of United Latin American Citizens of Wisconsin v. Deininger (Case 2:12-cv-00185.

The League case is the first trial in the country post-Shelby County v. Holder using Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Act (Section 4) last summer, as noted by The Advancement Project.

Scott Walker held a press conference the first day of the trial in Milwaukee last week and pronounced: "There really is no barrier for people (posed by mandating GOP-crafted Photo Voter ID as an additional requirement to vote)." (Marley. MJS)

It's a very bet Scott Walker never talked to any of the plaintiffs, any homeless veterans, and certainly not Leland Beatty, John Mas, Lorraine Minnite, or any other voter, trial witness or expert who could easily disconfirm Walker's stated belief.

The reason is voter obstruction is Walker's objective, and Walker has no interest in what any civil rights advocate, voting rights expert, or Wisconsin citizen who does not know his place has to say about voting.

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