Voter disenfranchisement has been one of many targets from the Koch Brothers-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In 2009, ALEC members gathered to draft voter ID and voter suppression bills and those documents were dispersed to ALEC-owned legislators nationally, including Alabama, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
In the early-voting measure, Walker used his partial veto powers — the most powerful in the nation — to nix language restricting early voting hours in Milwaukee and other cities to 45 hours a week while leaving in place a provision to prohibit early voting on weekends.
Democrats and Milwaukee officials have decried those voting limits as the latest effort by the GOP to make it harder for minorities, veterans, the elderly and students to vote, saying it amounted to “fixing elections” rather than problems.
Governor Walker, looking at a very close re-election race in November 2014, sees a great opportunity to make it more difficult for Wisconsin voters to vote. After all, it’s all about his career and he’d love to change the rules.
Gov. Scott Walker says he would call lawmakers into a special session to modify Wisconsin’s voter photo identification requirements if courts don’t uphold the current measure, which has been blocked since shortly after he signed it into law.
Walker told reporters Tuesday morning that he sees voter ID as the most “pressing” election-related issue currently facing Wisconsin.
“The only real thing I thought that was pressing, and it may still continue to be pressing depending on what the courts reacts on, is voter ID, ” Walker said. “And so we’re monitoring that closely, trying to figure out if there need to be any modifications made to that that would pass the test of the court — in terms of being able to uphold a voter ID law, but potentially with modifications that would address any concerns that they have.”
Why does Walker want to change the early voting laws? In 2008, President Obama won Wisconsin by 14 points where early voting was considered a possible reason for his success. That means, according to ALEC, the Republican Party and Walker, it’s good for the Democratic Party. So it has to change. One of the excuses you would hear from Walker is that small, rural communities can’t handle the workload of weekend voting or later hours to vote. This is, of course, absolute nonsense and the “logic” of changing the rules so small towns could override in importance compared to larger communities like Madison and Milwaukee (who solidly vote for Democrats) is disingenuous.
The other excuse Walker will moan about is the problem of “voter fraud”. The non-partisan Brennan Foundation has comprehensive proof that voter fraud is a myth used by Republicans to try to attack voting rights. There has been no investigation that showed that the “problem” is more that 0.0003% of the voting public that participates in elections.
PRWatch has been documenting the Walker administration’s antics with trying to change voting rights in Wisconsin, even knowing that it’s unconstitutional.
More information on this will come as it becomes available.