Jan 7, 2016

New GOP Scheme to Evict Tenants—Can Be Used as Voter Obstruction Tool

Wisconsin Republicans and only Republicans are floating a radical bill that would allow landlords to "evict tenants in five days if they suspect criminal activity under a Republican-backed plan to rewrite Wisconsin's landlord-tenant laws," (Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio).

Beyond a complete restructuring of tenant rights and private landlord-tenant contract law in Wisconsin, Assembly Bill 568 effectively grants Wisconsin landlords, (many of whom are Republican or GOP-leaning corporations), judicial power.

The argument over tenant rights v. landlord rights will tend to obscure the larger ALEC-Republican Party objective of voter disenfranchisement of citizens likely to not vote Republican.

AB 568 would allow landlords to state their suspicion of a tenant being party to illegal behavior, without evidence, and would allow for mass evictions of citizens in financially stressed, segregated black neighborhoods or white university (student) neighborhoods just weeks before Election Day.

No actual criminal activity needed for Republican-leaning landlords to clear any inner-city voter rolls of Democratic voters by pronouncing them homeless weeks before a major statewide election.

"Wisconsin law requires that you live at your current address for 28 consecutive days to be eligible to vote from your new address," notes the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board site.

The 28-day residency requirement is the result of a Republican-passed law that increased residency requirements from 10 days to 28 days a year, just months after Scott Walker was elected.

Wisconsin Republican have passed a full 33 legislative changes to obstruct voters since 2011, (Ferral, The Capital Times).

Voter confusion, frustration and disenfranchisement are predictable consequences of the latest GOP voter obstruction scheme.

This would apply emphatically to same-day voter registrations.

Many young voters, renters, student and minority voters change their addresses and register to vote on election day.

Statewide Election Day-registering voters composed some 266,974 voters, 10.6 percent of the electorate in November 2012, notes the GAB.

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