Photo-ID Bill Ends "Straight-Party Voting" & Says GOP-Friendly Amish Don't Have to Show Photo ID | WisCommunity

Photo-ID Bill Ends "Straight-Party Voting" & Says GOP-Friendly Amish Don't Have to Show Photo ID

Say goodbye to straight party voting,  According to the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, an amendment passed out of committee last week ends this ballot feature

Under current law, at the general election, an elector may vote a straight party ticket for the candidates of any political party that has a separate ballot or column on the ballot.

This substitute amendment eliminates the authority for any elector, other than an overseas or military elector, to vote a straight party ticket. Under federal law, an overseas or military elector may vote a straight party ticket on a write-in absentee ballot for national offices. The substitute amendment first applies with respect to the 2012 general election.

And, if you were wondering why in the hell the GOP would prevent Wisconsin's approximately 15,000 photo-shy Amish to vote, think again, these GOP-friendly voters don't have to show a photo-ID.  Again, from the LRB:  

substitute amendment creates a religious belief photograph exception for REAL ID noncompliant driver's licenses and identification cards.

I can see the GOP's angle on the "Amish exemption," but I'm not so sure about killing straight party ticket.  Are they assuming that Democrats are much, much dumber than Republicans and won't be able to navigate a ballot without a straight-party ticket?  

It seems like straight party ticket voting benefits whichever political party has the wind at their back.  In 2008 that was the Dems, but in 2010 it was definitely the Republicans.  There were alot of popular down-ticket candidates from both parties that probably would have survived those years if straight-party voting did not exist.

In fact, Craig Gilbert (the only reporter that bothered to cover this story) makes the point that straight-party voting in a "GOP year" benefits the GOP more than straight party voting benefits Dems in a "Dem year": doesn’t appear that straight-ticket voting was as helpful to Democrats in 2008 as it was to Republicans in 2010. While straight-ticket voters were clearly more Democratic in these counties than they were in 2010, they were less Democratic than the overall vote for president in most of them.

Hmmm... Plllllease don't throw us in the Briar patch Republicans!


May 9, 2011 - 4:42pm