On Tuesday Wisconsin will hold its primaries. Everyone is going to be involved in seeing who comes out on top. The Republicans are going to be looking at Trump and Cruz while the Democrats watch Clinton and Sanders.
But, there is something more important to watch than the outcome of the votes. That is how many voters in Wisconsin are turned away from the polls because they don’t have the “approved” ID. If thousands are turned away, and it looks likely that will happen, it will be the absolute fault of the state’s legislature.
This is the first election that is taking placed since the Voter ID Law, read voter suppression law, was passed in 2011. The courts held up enactment of the law in the last two elections.
There is a part of the law that says the state is required to run “a public service campaign” to educated the population as to what forms of photo ID are acceptable.” That seems fair. If you are going to change the rules, you should at least educate the population of the changes.
The problem is that the public service campaign is not taking place. There are no ads running that is educating the public as to which forms of Photo Ids are “acceptable. The law says they should have already been running. But they are not.
Why? The answer is very simple. The Republican controlled state legislature has failed to provide any money for the public service campaign. No money means no public service campaign.
This is not an accident either. The Government Accountability Board, a non-partisan agency responsible for producing voting education material has been in conflict with the Republican Controlled legislature.
This conflict came to a head after the recall vote of Governor Walker. The Government Accountability Board was involved in the investigation about whether or not Walker illegally coordinated with PACs during the election.
Then in October last year, the Board approached Republican State Senator Mary Lazich, one of the primary supporters of the law, and told her the Board would need between $300,000 and $500,000 to run the “required” public service campaign. According to reports, Lazich thanked the board for the information, but “made no promises.”
Two days after the meeting, the state legislature, still fuming over the investigation of Walker, voted to replace the non-partisan board with two partisan boards by June 2016.
As a result, the Board has not approached the legislature for the money they need to carry out the mandate in the Republicans law about conducting “public service campaign” to educate the voters on the requirements of the voter ID requirements.
Kevin Kennedy, the Board’s director and general counsel, said they didn’t believe they would have been met with a receptive audience. As a result, the “mandate” about public service campaign is not taking place because Republicans refuse to fund the campaign.
It has been estimated by some experts that between 200,000 and 350,000 Wisconsin voters potentially face disenfranchisement because of this law. When you consider the fact that the Republican Legislature is in violation of their own law, that number is probably close to reality.
But, that is okay. According to the Republicans in the legislature, there is no problem. After all, the law was passed to keep down the number of votes in the state. And, that is exactly what it will do. So, where is the problem?
As you can see, the “Constitution Loving” party is not so loving of the document. They are even willing to break their own laws to ensure they get their way. Some would call that the status quo.
All Hail The Conquering Dictators!!!! And, the “shirts” keep marching along.