Wisconsin GOP declares further war on voters

During their 2018 convention, Wisconsin Republicans signaled their continued attempt to suppress voting in the state. A resolution was passed at the convention calling for an end to same day voter registration (requiring registration at least 10 days before the election) and requiring that students vote in their home jurisdiction rather than their "temporary" college  address.

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This on the face of it seems only to be an attempt to further suppress voting in the state, and to be yet another ALEC and State Policy Network bad idea. Students are unlikely to make a special trip home to vote, and everyone realizes that. Same day registration is not only convenient for voters, but it also saves them from the somewhat confusing on-line voter registration system that we now have in the state.

In the Spring Primary in Wisconsin, there were multiple issues where eligible voters had been removed from the voter rolls due to the use of the ERIC multi-state system to identify non-eligible voters. The only way these residents could vote was to re-register at the polls, since in most cases they did not know they had been removed until they arrived to vote. In the last election special provisions had to be made for this so that voters could vote even if they had been removed. With the new rules proposed in the GOP resolution, these voters would have been out of luck. Same day registration is not only convenient, but it also serves as a safety net when registration rolls are incorrect.

You may say that this affects a small number of voters - but there is a cumulative effect. Some voters are dis-enfranchised by removing same-day voter registration. Others are dis-enfranchised by voter ID. Others by being college students and making it harder for them to vote. The upshot of all of this is that voting becomes more difficult, and more people throw up their hands and decide not to vote. This is in no way democratic.

The solution? Get rid of all of these "death by a thousand cuts" voter rules, and replace them with automatic voter registration. This makes life simpler for all concerned, shrinks the bureaucracy of voting, and ensures that everyone who wants to vote is able to.

However, in the short term what is required is to remove people from office who believe that their goal as politicians is to lower voting turnout.

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Published on

May 14, 2018

Posted By

randomness