Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Voter Suppression in Wisconsin, Chapter Next

And so we enter the next phase of Governor Teabagger’s (a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) plan to make sure that only The Right Sort Of People actually get to vote here in Wisconsin.

Follow along – it’s fun for the whole family.

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention to politics here in Wisconsin this year (and why haven’t you been? For pure train-wreck horrified fascination you can’t find a better entertainment value for your soon-to-be-valueless dollar, really), the rogue junta currently running the state has been making every effort to ensure that nobody gets to vote except Teabaggers and – should any non-Teabaggers actually make it to the polls – that nobody’s vote gets counted except those of Teabaggers, whose votes will get counted even when they were never cast at all if that is what it takes to ensure a Teabagger victory.

Here’s looking at you, “Justice” Prosser!

First came the Voter Suppression Act of 2011, a nifty piece of legislation rammed through the legislature without even bothering to allow opposition legislators to vote on it or give the public any real say in it – because after all, it is the job of the public to bend over and take what the Teabaggers are doing to them without complaint. Thanks to this act Wisconsin residents now have to provide a state ID when they cast their ballot, one that they are required to pay for – either a drivers license or an equivalent obtainable at the DMV. For various reasons already explored here on this site, this essentially amounts to a poll tax.

Yes, poll taxes are unconstitutional – a clear violation of the 24th Amendment of the US Constitution – but Teabaggers have amply demonstrated that they have no interest in anything that interferes with their quest for dictatorial power, Constitutions be damned, and anyone who says otherwise is clearly an Islamo-Fascist-Communist-Kenyan-Keynesian-terrorist-elitist (did I miss anything there? Probably). Why should this be any different?

The stated reason for this was to crack down on voter fraud. This is an outright lie.

According to figures from a study conducted by Wisconsin State Attorney General JB Van Holland, a Teabagger and perhaps the most nakedly partisan AG in the entire nation, there were more cases of UFO sightings in Wisconsin in 2008 (forty) than fraudulent votes cast (fourteen, out of three million cast). If even ol' JB can’t be bothered to make up anything to back up his political ambitions, you may rest assured it isn’t there. So we can dispense with that argument.

That the real reason was to disenfranchise Wisconsin voters not likely to vote for Teabaggers is all the more clear from subsequent acts by Governor Teabagger (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) and his minions, cronies and lackeys in the once-proud state legislature.

For one thing, now that Wisconsin voters need to go to the DMV to pay their poll tax in order to vote, Governor Teabagger (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) has begun closing DMV offices in heavily Democratic areas while at the same time lengthening hours for DMV offices in heavily Republican areas.

This is essentially the same strategy retailers use with rebates – make the process sufficiently difficult and nobody will bother seeing it through to the end. When Teabaggers insist they want to run the government like a business, THIS is what they mean.

They certainly don’t mean growing revenue, which is what most businesses try to do.

And for another, the Wisconsin Republican Party, its puppetmasters over at Americans For Prosperity (a Koch Industries front group) and the various Teabagger organizations currently treating this state as their personal latrine have now been caught on tape planning a “vote caging” effort targeting potential Democratic voters.

According to DailyKos, the principals involved include Tim Dake, the spokesman for Wisconsin’s Teabaggers and generally considered to be the leader of that particular faction, Reince Preibus, chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, and Mark Block, director of Americans For Prosperity – Wisconsin. So you know it’s not just something that the junior staff are kicking around over a few beers – this is something planned at the highest levels of Teabaggery.

“Vote caging” is an illegal tactic used to suppress voter turnout. Basically they send mail to addresses on voter lists and then at the polling place they challenge the right to vote for anyone whose letter gets returned as undeliverable. Those people either have to prove they can vote or cast a provisional ballot, both of which take time. In the end, historically, roughly 35% of those challenged don’t bother to jump through all the hoops (regardless of their legal right to vote, which is almost never at fault), while the delays caused by the tactic at the polling place discourage those in line from staying, thus suppressing voter turnout still further.

This is a direct violation of the National Voter Rights Act of 1993, not that they care about laws.

Those in charge of this scheme should be prosecuted, jailed, and held in the contempt they so richly deserve. I don’t think that will happen, given the manipulation of the legal system that the Teabaggers have proven themselves so adept at and the blind willingness of so many so-called Americans to let them get away with such things, but I can dream.

When you elect clowns, you get a circus.


vince said...

Hopefully the ALCU or someone similar will file a lawsuit.

If you can't win fair and square, cheat. It's what Jesus would do.

madcity said...

This is related:


David said...

@Vince - for people who do an awful lot of shouting about what Jesus would do, the Teabaggers do seem to be rather unacquainted with the original source material, don't they?

vince said...

David, they do indeed.

KimK said...

And where is Reince Preibus now? Chair of the NATIONAL Rep. Party. Sigh.