Despite virtually no voter impersonations in Wisconsin’s history, we have the most restrictive voter ID law in the country. The only purpose of this law is to silence the voice of citizens who may disagree with our governor and his backers.
Gov. Scott Walker says the law will make it, “easier to vote, and harder to cheat.” It’s certainly not easier for voters, poll workers, or our town clerks. So who is it easier for?
Prior to this law, every Wisconsin resident who was a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years of age could vote. Voter ID is the next step in a series of actions designed to obstruct people from voting. In the last three years early voting has been reduced from three weeks and two weekends, to one week, no weekends, and no evening hours. DMV offices have been closed and service hours reduced.
We’ve been assured, “people will have no problem getting a photo ID.” Yet, an estimated 300,000 registered voters lack the proper ID to vote. How many of these people can get to a DMV office with the correct paperwork before the election? Can they get off work? Do they drive any longer, or have a car? Is there public transportation available? Waupaca, Brown and Outagamie counties each have only one DMV office. The Waupaca office is open Monday and Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. only.
Justice Richard Posner, dissenting judge on this issue on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said, “Voter ID laws are now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than fraud prevention.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked this bill for now due to last minute implementation issues, but not on the merits of the law. That will most likely be decided after the Nov. 4 election.
In the meantime, Walker still defends the law, which protects us from the threat of fraudulent voting saying, “it doesn’t matter if there’s one, 10, or 100.” Unless you happen to be one of the 300,000.
With all the recent court actions people are certainly confused. And, unfortunately some will give up and not vote. Unfortunate indeed, no matter which side of this issue you’re on.
Shouldn’t we be working on ways to encourage people to vote, and making it easier rather than more difficult to participate?