Friday, April 8, 2016

More Proof that Voter Suppression Is Intentional

Someone said recently that when voting works the way it should, there's nothing to show. Everyone just votes in a few minutes and it's over. When you see footage of people standing in lines, that means something is not right, as in Arizona a few weeks ago and Wisconsin this week.

Last night's All In with Chris Hayes carried an interview with a former Republican legislative staffer from Wisconsin who was present when their closed caucus worked out its voter ID bill.

Todd Allbaugh says they were positively giddy at the way the bill would keep people of color and students from voting. He posted this on Facebook April 5 (the day of Wisconsin's primary), which led to the interview on MSNBC last night:

You wanna know why I left the Republican Party as it exists today? Here it is; this was the last straw: I was in the closed Senate Republican Caucus when the final round of multiple Voter ID bills were being discussed. A handful of the GOP Senators were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters.

Think about that for a minute. Elected officials planning and happy to help deny a fellow American's constitutional right to vote in order to increase their own chances to hang onto power. A vigorous debate on the ideas wasn't good enough. Inspiring the electorate and relying on their agenda being better to get people to vote for them wasn't good enough. No, they had to take the coward's way out and come up with a plan to suppress the vote under the guise of 'voter fraud.' The truth? There was almost none. Oh wait, GOP Speaker Voss' estranged wife voted twice in both Idaho and Wisconsin, and a GOP staffer was caught voting twice. But it was good rhetoric.

Yesterday, one of my employees, born in California, went to get his Wisconsin ID. He was told he couldn't use his California ID to get a Wisconsin ID without his birth certificate which is back in California. The result? He's not able to vote today. Here's a young man in his early 20's, who is taking part and interested in voting for the first time in his life. He was excited to go to the polls. What kind of a state, a legislature, a political party is it that denies this young man his right?

The GOP was born out of greater opportunity and equality. Wisconsin, yes the Wisconsin Republican Party, under the leadership of Republican Governor Robert M. 'Fighting Bob' La Follette lead the country in creating greater voting access to its citizens. The Wisconsin GOP was seen as a shining example of equality. THAT was the party I joined in the 80's and fought for. That party no longer exists. I don't belong to any party now. I don't think the Dems have all the answers either. But my God, to watch a party I once fought for deny a young man his voting boils my blood, leaves a pit in my stomach. It's time for a ‪#‎GOPImplosion‬
Time for the Supreme Court to overturn all of these voter ID bills based not only on their disparate effect, but on the provable intention behind them.
Two other voter suppression stories:

Ohio election chief sued over voter purges

Wisconsin's voter ID laws caused major problems at the polls last night

1 comment:

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

You're right, it is time, and there seems to be a good chance that the Supremes would overturn the suppression laws. And I'd forgotten that LaFollette was a Republican.