Voting Is Legit, Voter Obstruction Is Not
Updated - Wisconsin Republicans have engineered a broad voter suppression campaign as general election voting begins some four weeks from today.
Republicans use the broad authority given to Republican-named Chief Election Inspectors and municipal bureaucrats populating smaller municipal offices, (with armed assistance from municipal police), as brown shirts in the war against voting.
There has been a silent coup the last five years at the point of voting for most people as election laws have been changed to favor Republicans. Few object.
It's fair to suggest inadequate personality types populating Republican-named, white poll-worker rosters and smaller municipal bureaucracies seek positions in which to say 'no,' acting with hostility against black and brown voters with the familiar mix of awkward and antagonistic posturing racists manifest.
Sad and pathetic people, but a fair hypothesis for the hostility voters encounter at the polling place.
Against this explanation are the Republican-enacted election laws fighting non-Republicans' franchise.
It bears noting that absent a voting rights body with the resources to station observers chronicling voter obstruction efforts at the some 3,500 polling places in Wisconsin, voters capriciously denied their right to vote will be people from whom the public will not hear. Point is presenting social scientific evidence of intentional and broad suppression efforts requires a labor-intensive enterprise beyond the means of most. Ask the plaintiffs' attorneys in the federal voting rights cases, One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen and Frank v. Walker.
Margaret Krome has a piece in the Capital Times on the unAmerican effort to impede voting, now joined by Donald Trump.
... Trump has never let facts stop him from promoting a message that advances his interests. 'We have to call up law enforcement, and we have to have the sheriffs, and the police chiefs, and everybody watching,' he has been saying. 'Because if we get cheated out of this election, if we get cheated out of a win in Pennsylvania.' So he asks supporters to help 'stop Crooked Hillary from rigging this election' by becoming election observers. ...
To many, this looks more like a strategy of minority voter intimidation and possibly a face-saving explanation if he loses, but one that could obstruct constitutional transfer of power if Clinton wins. Both are destructive and dangerous intentions, utterly unworthy of any candidate for any office or for any political party to condone. But it’s obvious that the candidate of the finite and diminishing pool of angry white male voters is actually counting on suppressing minority and other non-Trump voter turnout to navigate his ever more perilous path to winning in November.
What’s more, it’s not just Trump’s approach but builds on longstanding Republican strategy. In the 1970s, the Republican National Committee hired off-duty police officers to question voters at minority polling places. Legal action forced this to end, but the dwindling base of white voters continued to alarm Republican leaders. How frustrated they were when the 2012 elections reinforced their concern! And how appalling that their response was not to adjust their platform or outreach strategies to broaden their tent, but rather to develop new strategies to suppress minority votes nationwide.
Protection from Republican efforts attacking voting rights is not going to happen from election inspectors. This writer, and sworn election inspector, can tell you that communications sticking up for the rights of voters are met with hostility and retaliation, at best. The voter must be vigilant toward her own liberties and the liberties of fellows.
This is voting in Wisconsin today. Watch this space for proposed specific solutions.