Oct 2, 2014

Non-profits, Dems Educate Wisconsin on Voter ID; Municipal-State Bureaucracies Flounder

Update: Madison and Dane County have jointly launched a Public Outreach Campaign on Voter ID one day following Jessie Opoien's piece in the Capital Times.

One in five voters don't know they need a GOP-approved photo voter ID to vote, reports Jessie Opoien in The Capital Times.

Opoien's piece was posted minutes before news hit that an emergency petition to the U.S. Supreme Court had been filed by multiple plaintiffs to block Wisconsin's photo voter ID law this morning.

"Young voters are least likely to know about the requirement, with 26 percent of voters ages 18-29 unaware," notes Opoien.

Good news for the Republicans.

Bad news for Wisconsin democracy.

To borrow from Pogo with a little citizen Don Ystad thrown in, 'we have found the enemy and he is us,' - the voters. So the Republican Party believes.

Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Board (GAB) is asking the Wisconsin legislature for "$460,800 for a statewide TV, radio and online campaign to educate residents about the voter identification law that will be in effect for the Nov. 4 election." (Green Bay Press Gazette)

That will help.

So would the GAB speaking up for the voters, echoing the point that changing the rules after elections have begun is likely to disfranchise voters.

So, Wisconsin's 1,852 municipal clerks with staff administer and implement the conflicting guidelines from the GAB to educate the electorate: Result, one in five voters don't know what to do.

Election law experts call this a failing grade.

I helped a voter cast her absentee ballot after receiving conflicting statements from the municipal clerk's office on photo voter ID.

Confusion came from the GAB, I was told. I believe it.
Difficult to administer an unconstitutional law when the rules are changed after voting has already begun.

No serious jurist who not a partisan Republican believes Wisconsin's Act 23 should have ever passed muster with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, or the federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

So, we wait for the U.S. Supreme Court, likely to rule within days if not hours.

Meanwhile the Wisconsin League of Women Voters is desperately trying to educate the public.

The ACLU is desperately trying to educate the public.

The Democratic Party is desperately trying to educate the public.

Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television, and on and on.

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