Wisconsin Republican in Court: Allowing More Access to Voting is Unfair, Long Lines are Good

Most rational people are well aware of the fact that these voter ID laws Republicans have been passing all across the country are nothing more than their attempt to try to “fix” elections by disenfranchising voters that typically don’t vote for Republicans. These laws have already proven to disproportionately impact the poor, younger voters and minorities. Take for instance here in Texas (and other states as well), your Concealed Handgun License is valid to use for voting – but a school-issued student ID is not.

Furthermore, in many states Republicans have shortened early voting and reduced the number of places people could go to actually vote. In a country where we should make voting as easy as possible, Republicans have been passing laws to make it much more difficult. We’ve even seen Republicans voting to close DMV locations in some states, often in poorer areas, which makes it more difficult for people to obtain an ID.

See, that’s how they really plan to disenfranchise voters.

Since they can’t outright prevent people from voting, what they’ve done is put in place all sorts of rules, regulations and restrictions, claiming that it’s about “combating rampant voter fraud” – that doesn’t actually exist. Then they go out and make it more difficult for people to get the proper identification. So, they’re not technically keeping people from voting – not directly anyway – because that would be illegal. Instead, they’re just making it more difficult to get an ID… which is needed to vote.

It’s sort of like they’ve been trying to do with abortion. Since they can’t place an outright ban on abortion, they’re just making it nearly impossible to get one in many states.

Well, in Wisconsin, the state’s voter ID laws are on trial with opponents of the law arguing that requirements put in place by Republicans do nothing more than disenfranchise voters, violating their Constitutional right to be able to vote.

Naturally, Republicans reject that idea because they’re obviously not going to admit that these laws are about trying to lower voter turnout for voters who tend to vote Democrat.

Though to show you how absurd some of these arguments are from proponents of the Wisconsin law, I give you comments made by Waukesha County clerk Kathleen Novack who claimed that making it easier to vote was actually unfair.

No – seriously.

“If there’s an office open 30 days versus an office that’s only open 10 work days, there are obviously voters that have a lot more access than someone else,” Novack said in defense of ending weekend voting.

“There has to come a point where it’s just giving over-access – to particular parts of the state,” she added.

What she’s referring to are more rural places where the resources aren’t available to keep early voting locations open longer. I’m sure it’s “shocking” to you that by “particular parts of the state” she means counties like her own, which happens to be 94 percent white. Whereas Milwaukee County, an area that had the resources to keep voting locations open more, is only 65 percent white.

In other words, what Novack was essentially saying is that she believes it’s unfair that the almost completely white rural areas of the state (aka more conservative) wouldn’t be given as much of an opportunity to cast early ballots as urban areas, which tend to have more minorities. So that “justifies” limiting early voting access to these more urban areas of the state.

She also argued that long lines weren’t a bad thing because that proves access to voting isn’t a problem, otherwise there wouldn’t be long lines.

“Apparently access is an easy thing or they wouldn’t have long lines,” she said.

It really is hard to believe that these are the legitimate arguments Wisconsin Republicans are trying to make, claiming that limiting the access voters have to actually vote and long wait times at these polling locations are good things.

It really shouldn’t come as a surprise considering this is Waukesha County we’re talking about. Novack replaced former county clerk Kathy Nickolaus, whose incompetence cost liberals a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2010. (Seriously, ask a Wisconsin liberal who’s been involved in politics for a while about that debacle.)

But the truth is, most Republicans know why these laws are put in place, it just doesn’t bother them. They’re perfectly fine with these laws disenfranchising voters that they really wished wouldn’t vote in the first place. For them it’s not about true democracy, it’s about trying to “fix” the system to benefit their party. That’s why it’s pointless to even try to reason with these folks because they know you’re right when you accuse them of doing exactly what they’re doing – they simply don’t care.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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