Scott Walker will sign into law the ability to stop some voters from voting and its attacking the very basic intentions of a democracy. AB7 will become law on Wednesday, May 25 unless Walker decides he’s a friend of democracy and not a willing stooge who propagates the myth of voter fraud as an excuse to disenfranchise voters.
Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen was interviewed on Koch Brothers’-linked MacIver Institute in 2008 getting puffed up about how he was going to get to the bottom of “widespread” election fraud:
Despite all the chest-beating and after a two-year investigation with the Elections Integrity Task Force, Van Hollen found that 20 people out of 3 million voters committed voter fraud in 2008. Van Hollen has been oddly and suspiciously very quiet about the so-called menace of voter fraud in Wisconsin during the discussions and legislation leading up to AB7 becoming law. The DOJ web site also has lots of broken links regarding finding all the reports leading up to the findings proving that voter fraud is a myth. They might be trying to hide something. Some people say…
AB7, otherwise known as the Voter Suppression Act by those who know what’s really going on is:
Requiring certain identification in order to vote at a polling place or obtain an absentee ballot, verification of the addresses of electors, absentee voting procedure in certain residential care apartment complexes and adult family homes, identification cards issued by the Department of Transportation, creating an identification certificate issued by the Department of Transportation, requiring the exercise of rule-making authority, and providing a penalty.
If anyone moves to Wisconsin after June 14, they cannot vote in the July 12 Recall election since the nonsensical proof-of-residency provision in the voter ID bill makes voters have to live in the state 28 days (instead of 10 days) before an election in order to cast a ballot. To add to the confusion, In-state residents who moved to a home or apartment located outside of their current voting district after June 14 will have to cast their votes in their old district. First-time voters will now have to prove that they lived at their current residence for 28 days without allowing neighbors to vouch for one another or for parents to vouch for voting-age children who live in their residence.
Casting absentee ballots will change from three weeks to two weeks. The cutoff date for accepting absentee ballots moves from the Monday before an election to the Friday before an election.
While registered voters will NOT need to show a photo ID for the Recall elections. However, once the Voter Suppression Act is made into law, voters will need to present a valid driver’s license, passport, tribal ID or naturalization papers to obtain a ballot.
Student IDs would be allowed but will need to include a current address, birth date, signature and expiration date. These IDs usually have bar codes that allow access to dorms and other college facilities, hence could be used for crimes and endanger students. Additionally, there are no college IDs used in the state that meet the new voting standards and colleges will have to spend millions of dollars to comply with the new rules.
Why is that part of the Voter Suppression Act? Because Walker and the Republicans want to make it harder and more confusing to vote.
Seniors, students, minorities, people with disabilities and the state in general will be victims of the Republican voter rigging antics based on the lie of voter fraud. It’s as simple as that.
Eric Compas, Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the Geography and Geology Department, offers a compelling example of who voter disenfranchisement is part of the Walker/Republican plan:
Interpretation of this map requires caution for several reasons: 1) it doesn’t include all forms of ID that can be used (e.g. military IDs) for which detailed data isn’t available, 2) many drivers have licenses without a current address, 3) many drivers are not of voting age, and 4) the data are not from the same year.
Several counties (Dane, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Door Counties) have more voters than drivers, meaning that currently registered voters within these counties will have to obtain new IDs to vote. The total voters without drivers licenses within these counties, 20,162 voters, is well within the margin of recent elections. The largest numbers are from Dane and Milwaukee Counties which have traditionally voted heavily for the Democrats.
One Wisconsin Now offers more evidence of voter suppression:
Wisconsin’s population is substantially less likely to have a state-issued identification. The study showed that the following numbers about those without state-issued photo identification and who would need to obtain one under the Wisconsin Voter ID bill:
- Over 177,000 elderly Wisconsinites
- 17 percent of white men and women
- 55 percent of African American men and 49 percent of African American women
- 46 percent of Hispanic men and 59 percent of Hispanic women
- 78 percent of African American men age 18-24 and 66 percent of African
- American women age 18-24
The need to expand the numbers and operational hours of Wisconsin DMVs to provide appropriate access could increase the $70 million biennial Wisconsin DMV budget by as much as 50 percent – on top of the current $5 million price tag to provide free identifications.
Wisconsin and Indiana have similar voting age populations (4.35 million vs. 4,8 million), but Wisconsin is 50 percent larger geographically than Indiana (54,314 sq. miles vs. 35,870 sq. miles). Indiana not only provides its residents 50 percent more DMV offices than Wisconsin has (140 to 91), but also nearly three times the total hours these facilities are open.
Additional statistics about Wisconsin lack of accessible DMVs compared to Indiana:
- Twenty-six percent of Wisconsin’s 91 DMVs are open one day a month or less, while none of Indiana’s are open less than 100 days a year and nearly all are open over 250 days a year.
- Wisconsin has only one DMV with weekend hours, while Indiana has 124 offices with weekend hours.
- Three Wisconsin counties have no DMVs, no Indiana county is without a DMV.
- Over half of Wisconsin’s 91 DMVs are open on a part-time basis, while Indiana provides full-time DMVs in every county.
What happens now? Here’s a synopsis:
Some, but not all, of the new voter ID rules will be in effect for the first recall elections, which will be held July 12. Here’s what you need to know if you plan to vote:
- If you are a Wisconsin resident, you voted in the last election and you haven’t moved since then, you won’t be asked for proof of residence in the July 12 elections.
- However, if this is your first time voting, you’ll be required to provide proof that you’ve lived at your current Wisconsin residence for at least 28 days. Parents and neighbors can no longer vouch for your residence, as the bill “continues current requirements for certain electors to provide proof of residence … but discontinues the use of corroborating electors to verify residence.” Current acceptable forms of proof of residence are, according to the Government Accountability Board:
- A current and valid Wisconsin driver license.
- A current and valid Wisconsin identification card.
- Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit.
- Any identification card issued by an employer in the normal course of business and bearing a photo of the card holder, but not including a business card.
- A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year or the year preceding the date of the election.
- A residential lease which is effective for a period that includes election day (not for first-time voters registering by mail).
- A university, college or technical institute fee card (must include photo).
- A university, college or technical institute identification card (must include photo).
- A gas, electric or telephone service statement (utility bill) for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before election day.
- Bank statement.
- A check or other document issued by a unit of government.
If you are a Wisconsin resident, but you move to a new place of residence outside your current voting district after June 14, you will be required to vote in your old district. If you’re a new Wisconsin resident and you move to the state after June 14, you won’t be able to vote in the July 12 recall elections. Voters must be residents of the state for 28 days before an election — a change from the current 10-day residency requirement. If you want to request an absentee ballot, you’ll need to do so no more than two weeks prior to the election. If you vote with an absentee ballot, it must be mailed or hand delivered to your municipal clerk the Friday before July 12, which is July 8. Absentee ballots will not be accepted after that date. You don’t need a photo ID to vote in the July 12 elections; however, a poll worker will likely ask you to present one when you vote. If you don’t have one, you will not be turned away. Instead, you’ll be reminded that an ID will be required the next time you vote.
There will be protests. The law may also end up in court.