J.P. Green’s post below covered a range voter suppression activities. But now we have a new, particularly disgusting initiative from Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker, reports Mike Hall in the AFL-CIO Now Blog:
In May, Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed a Voter ID bill that could disenfranchise tens of thousands of students, seniors, poor and minority Wisconsin voters who don’t have drivers’ licenses or state-issued photo IDs.
Now it appears as if the Walker administration is going a step further to keep voters who aren’t likely to be Walker supporters (see list below) away from the polls. He’s closing 10 Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices where residents can obtain the photo IDs they will need before they are allowed to vote. Supposedly, the move is to free up DMV employees to staff offices that will have expanded hours to provide ID services.
But state Rep. Andy Jorgensen (D) says it appears the decisions were based on politics, with the department targeting offices for closure in Democratic areas and expanding hours for those in Republican districts.
As for the old ‘voter fraud’ excuse being peddled by GOP politicians coast to coast, Hall notes that there were more UFO sightings (40) in Wisconsin in 2008 than reports of improper voting (14) — out of 3 million votes cast in that election.
The i.d. law itself is draconian, but the required procedures compound the injustice:
While Walkerites claim that all a person needs to do is head to the nearest DMV and get his or her “free” voter ID, as recent hidden camera video shows, if you don’t specifically ask for a “Voter ID,” you’ll be charged $28, the cost of a regular state photo ID. There are no signs and the clerks are not instructed to ask what type of photo ID a person is after. In effect, that’s a $28 poll tax.
The Wisconsin i.d. law kicks in next year. But Hall points out that “voters will be asked to provide a photo ID but will be allowed to vote without one” in the upcoming recall elections.