Restricting Voting Access — Guess Where the GOP Is Doing It Now?

paul-ryan-wiscRemember how just a couple months back, in what could be considered a Republican attempt at sabotaging the race for governor, nearly 40,000 people were purged from Virginia’s voter rolls? Well, the Republican Party is at it once again, and this time it’s Wisconsin. Yes, Wisconsin – the home of two of the most reviled GOP politicians in all of America. I’m speaking of the union-crushing, Koch Brothers darling Governor Scott Walker and Congressman Paul “Ayn Rand is required reading for my staffers” Ryan.

From the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

In a late-night session that stretched from Thursday into Friday, Republicans in the state Assembly approved measures to reinstate Wisconsin’s voter ID law, tighten early voting hours, limit the ability to recall elected officials, create anti-abortion license plates and restrict access to the site of a proposed iron mine in the North Woods.

Oh yeah, and this also happened:

Tensions flared after Democrats attempted to take up a bill honoring the children killed last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Republicans rejected taking that up and then advanced the bill on anti-abortion license plates, even though they had said earlier they wouldn’t take it up.

Let me summarize this for you. Make it harder for people to vote? Check. Make it harder for people to recall unpopular politicians like Scott Walker? Check. Create license plates that will fund an anti-choice group? Absolutely. Keep environmentalist protestors away from property which will be used by a private company for mining? Of course. Pass a simple resolution remembering the people who died at Sandy Hook Elementary? Absolutely freaking… not.

If you’re a Republican politician, here’s how you’d spin it to the media. Via the Washington Post:

Rep. Duey Stroebel (R), one of the bill’s lead sponsors, said standardizing early voting hours would level the playing field for voters in rural counties, where clerks sometimes don’t have the staff to keep polls open over weekends, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. But Democrats say the move is nothing more than an attempt to cut turnout rates in urban areas.

Wisconsin went for Barack Obama by almost 7 percentage points and over 200,000 votes in 2012. In that same election, Tammy Baldwin became the first woman and first openly gay person to be elected to the United States Senate. Her margin of victory was a bit slimmer, and just like President Obama, much of her support came from the urban areas of Wisconsin.

Making it harder for people to vote isn’t a new thing in Wisconsin – there have been previous laws passed that are being fought in court. So to get around a judge’s ruling on the photo ID portion of the last piece of legislation, they just passed a new bill which will have to be litigated all over again.

Why are they so desperate to keep people from voting? These laws are being passed in the name of “preventing fraud,” or in the case of cutting voting hours, they claim it’s to “level the playing field” for rural voters. It isn’t about preventing fraud or leveling the playing field, it’s about making sure that as many people as possible who might vote for a Democrat are prevented from doing so. Remember that in Amercia (the mythical land where trickle down economics actually works), Democrats only win because of voter fraud and Black Panthers keeping good conservative white people from voting. Yes, that was sarcasm and is satire but I think you get what I’m saying.

Voter fraud is the go-to “strawman” argument for these laws, even though actual instances of voter fraud in the United States are extremely rare and certainly not enough to influence the outcome of any election. However, as the GOP’s base continues to be eroded by the winds of time and the actions of their “wacko bird” contingent, their only way of winning is to lie, steal and cheat like hell whenever and wherever possible.


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