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Goal Thermometer
In response to the looming recall elections, Republicans in the Wisconsin state Senate are on the brink of passing a law making it more difficult to vote in those recall elections. Democrats in the state Senate delayed it last night, but it will pass Thursday:
Senate Republicans gave initial approval early Wednesday to a bill requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls, but Democrats blocked a final vote on the measure until Thursday.

Senators signaled their approval of the bill on a voice vote, with Republicans who control the house voting for it and Democrats opposed. That vote came at 12:30 a.m., after more than 10 hours of debate, but Democrats used Senate rules to prevent the final vote.

Senators will reconvene at 9 a.m. Thursday on the bill.

The law severely restricts absentee voting (see an update on that here), lengthens residency requirements, and requires state-issued photo ID at the polls (update on that provision here). The absentee and residency requirements will go into effect before the recall elections, although the photo ID requirements will go into effect next year.

I'd write that I'm shocked a party facing recall elections is about to pass a law making it more difficult to vote in those recall elections, but sadly it isn't shocking at all. Limiting voting from Democratic-leaning demographic groups—in this case students, the poor, and those without cars—is a long-standing Republican tactic. Combined with Republican attempts to remove all limits on corporate spending in politics, it's part of a strategy to structurally alter the electorate in their favor.

We're going to keep fighting back. Today on Orange to Blue, we've added the final two Democrats, Sandy Pasch and Nancy Nusbaum, who are challenging Republican state Senators in recall elections. So, you can now contribute to all six of the Democratic challengers in one place. Please, chip in $6 to support the effort to take back the Wisconsin state Senate.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Only in Right Wing World... (9+ / 0-)
    The changes unveiled Monday in the Legislature's budget-writing committee would also remove a previous new requirement that college student IDs include the date of birth and current address.

    WTF? Changing election rules is a budget problem? Well, only if you intend to throttle democracy. Which apparently is the budget plan of the Republican Legislature.


    As soon as you have people telling other people how to live/think/behave because "god gave them authority" you effectively get dictators in funny looking hats.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:48:05 AM PDT

  •  Long past due (8+ / 0-)

    for the DOJ Civil Rights Division to add States which violate voting rights for scrutiny -- not just for African Americans -- but for all Americans no matter party, race, gender, age, etc.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:54:20 AM PDT

    •  I wonder: did they produce any findings (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to show that fraud, along these lines, is even a problem there?  If not, they're going to have a hard time surviving any balancing test, if one applies.

      Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:32:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  With the restrictions imposed by WI's semi- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Colossus, commonmass

    functional DMV, alone, on some populations within the state, why is no one challenging this on First Amendment grounds?

    Isn't voting considered speech?  Isn't a large part of the rationale SCOTUS at the corrupted root of Citizens United -- spending-is-'voting-with-your-"dollars-as-speech"' -- ?

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:54:23 AM PDT

  •  how is this Constitutional? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Matt Z

    ...this is horrifying. we expect this kind of voter suppression in dictatorships and despotic, fascist regimes -- not in flipping WISCONSIN!

    "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

    by humanistique on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:57:02 AM PDT

  •  Might be able to delay implementation (15+ / 0-)

    until after the recall.  Or so I hope.

    IANAL, but the recall procedures are spelled out in the WI constitution.  

    Section 12 (7) law shall be enacted to hamper, restrict or impair the right of recall.

    It seems like changing the rules in the middle of the game would "hamper, restrict, or impair the right of recall".

    Of course, IANAR either, and in the logic of up-is-down, war-is-peace, freedom-is-slavery, and ignorance-is-strength this is probably just peachy.


    by stcroix cheesehead on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:59:04 AM PDT

  •  Holy crap. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Diana in NoVa, Matt Z

    Next up: A bill that provides a scepter and crown to the republican governor.  

  •  South Carolina... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, AllanTBG, commonmass, Matt Z

    ...just passed a photo ID "election reform" law, too. The Luv Gov Nikki Haley is all set to sign it today.

    Anyone else thing all these state governors and Republican-controlled legislatures aren't acting from the same libertarian billionaire script?

    -5.38 -4.72 T. Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

    by trevzb on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:59:34 AM PDT

    •  It's all about timing and motives (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Seneca Doane, WillR

      I voted yesterday and once more I was reminded that it's much too easy to say you're someone you're not and be handed a ballot.  I have no objections to requiring state-issued photo ID in order to vote. It just shouldn't be done with an election right around the corner.

      It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

      by Rich in PA on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:13:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Republicans are very literal people. (0+ / 0-)

      They are opposed to government by the people.  Acting as representatives, akin to in loco parentis, is a concession some are willing to make.  Others adhere to the autocracy practiced by the traditional pater familias, whose word was law and could not be countermanded.  Women who challenged the patriarchy are, of course, responsible for the subsequent social upheaval. That's why women have to be put in their place.

      by hannah on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:35:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is there any effort... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, commonmass, Sue B, Matt Z fight this barely-concealed poll tax in court...and eventually repeal it?

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." -Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by alaprst on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:01:54 AM PDT

  •  why don't they just do what they (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    really want and go back to the days when only white men who owned property could vote

  •  Senator Jauch on the Voter ID bill. (15+ / 0-)

    Damn it, they've taken the video down.

    Have to give a partial transcript:

    The fact is that we're taking the most sacred of rights, the right to vote, and burying it.  This is nothing more than an attack on voters in Wisconsin.  In April of 1970 I was arrested in Kiev.  I was arrested for taking a picture of an egg line.  And I and three other, two other individuals were taken to a police station surrounded by military and police officers and then we were transferred in different vehicles to a jail where we spent three hours interrogated by an individual in Russian.  Now you say, why is he giving us this whole story?  Because I have the same sick feeling in my stomach today that I had in Kiev in 1970.  I can't distinguish the Soviet Union from Madison, Wisconsin.  Because of what this body is doing to make voting more difficult.  I went to Vietnam.  I served there for a year.  I came back with the emotional and physical scars of that war.  You bring shame to my service.  You do dishonor to what I did, in protecting the rights of citizens.  And the amazing thing is that you're, that some of the members are gleeful about it.  They don't think about the consequences.


    by stcroix cheesehead on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:03:55 AM PDT

  •  I fully expect this to be challenged in court (6+ / 0-)

    but the judicial system wheels turn soooo slowly compared to the pace of Walker & co's assault on Wisconsin.

    Case in point... Walker & co. have been in violation of a court order regarding Capitol building access since March, with only two doors open and metal-detector screenings to keep protesters cowed and intimidated... and we have to wait till May 24 for the courts to take it up again...

    On the other hand, a nice deliberative court process could delay the Voter ID fiasco for a long time, so maybe that's a plus.

    By the way, the actual photo ID part of the law wouldn't be enforced for the recall elections even in the absence of a court challenge.  You'd be asked to show ID, but there's no requirement until 2012.

    If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

    by AnnieJo on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:09:46 AM PDT

  •  Remind me again why WI Dem legislators... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Sue B

    ...returned to Madison?  

    On the specific issue at hand, Democrats have traditionally done so poorly at mobilizing the poor and the less-rooted to vote that I'm not persuaded this will make any meaningful difference in actual voting, but it's an issue to be used to persuade everyone who's not white, male, and wealthy that Republicans hate them and would gladly exterminate them if they could.

    It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

    by Rich in PA on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:10:45 AM PDT

    •  They returned... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnieJo, Seneca Doane, Matt Z

      because the republicans were going to take up a whole lot of stuff like this (that doesn't need a 3/5 quorum) and ram it through in five minutes.  At least they have a hope of slowing some of this crap down.  Or make sure the legislature can't pass all of it.

      Also, I think they were at the end of where it was a political advantage for them, with recalls starting both against them and against the republican 8.

      But this bill could make a meaningful difference.  My senator is one of the co-sponsors.  She has two UW campuses in her district.  This legislation makes it far more difficult for students to vote.  

      The removal of thousands of potential young college voters in a single district is huge.


      by stcroix cheesehead on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:25:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm conflicted about student voting (0+ / 0-)

        Not on philosophical grounds, just on the grounds that there really are no effective controls against voting in two jursdictions, and also because it may needlessly concentrate Democratic votes instead of using them where they're needed.  Madison (the locality) will be Democratic without any student voting, but a lot of places elsewhere in WI could go Democratic with those votes.

        It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

        by Rich in PA on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:32:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes there are such controls (0+ / 0-)

          Post-facto penalties, which have been enforced against violators.

          If students want to vote back home, they can.  It's their choice.

          Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

          by Seneca Doane on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:36:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not. (5+ / 0-)

          We've had NO evidence of any problems with elections due to students voting in two places.  NONE.  ZERO.  So what problem is this trying to solve?  The problem of students (and the poor) voting in the first place

          This bill does several things.  The sum is particularly onerous to students.

          Under current law, you can register same-day with ID.  Proof of address is something sent to your address - a utility bill, student fee statement, etc.

          But this bill eliminates same-day registration and provides a 28-day timeframe.  It also makes absentee voting far more difficult, and it requires an ID with your current address.  

          It's going to be more difficult for them to vote at their college address, and also more difficult for them to vote absentee at their home address.

          RECOUNT. RECALL. RESCIND. REBUILD. Now with 4 R's.

          by stcroix cheesehead on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:39:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Heh really (0+ / 0-)

            the fact that a person (student or otherwise) actually votes once is kind of amazing.  That a student would go to the trouble of working it out so that they can vote twice.  Not so sure.

            "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

            by newfie on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:17:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Citizens are presumed to be trustworthy and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z

          upright until they are proven not to be.  That's a core problem for people who are convinced that all men are created evil and governments are instituted to make them good, in case the religious institutions fail.
          The negative prejudice against human kind is necessary to justify man's dominion over his own kind.  When all men and women are considered to be equal, there's no basis for ordering them around.
          Evil is necessary to give man dominion.

          by hannah on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:44:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  We are working hard here to change this,if you (0+ / 0-)

      feel this way, then volunteer. No sense in sitting on the sidelines anymore.

  •  Done-$6Xsix candidates (4+ / 0-)

    Lucky 36!

    E Pluribus Unum: Out of many, one.

    by Ian Reifowitz on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:11:48 AM PDT

  •  If these guys think they're so right, (5+ / 0-)

    they should just let the people vote. But they won't. They know they are screwing the people and the people's input is the LAST thing they want. Unless those people have the last name of "Koch".

    Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

    by commonmass on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:13:34 AM PDT

  •  The emerging gop 2012 plan may include (5+ / 0-)

    targeting specific states where voting will be made more difficult, then springing a dark horse candidate, like Jeb, late in the game, while cashing ginormous anonymous checks from CU, shocking the ever-complicit media with their bold moves, coalesce the disparate forces of the party around the new candidate, and in the end, making the 2012 election far closer than it should be.

    Mission accomplished, WMD's, no one could have predicted a breech of the levees, mobile weapons labs, aluminium tubes, yellowcake, I just dont think about him that much, 1% solutions, trust Curveball, Saddam harbors Al Qaeda, mistakes were made...

    by A Runner on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:14:28 AM PDT

  •  This might work in any other state (4+ / 0-)

    But I think it's just going to piss off WI Dem voters and bring more people to the polls.

    Viva la revolucion!

  •  So I can't vote if I haven't lived in my house/apt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    less than 28 days??  Bullshit.  Show is that legal.  So I move less than a month before the election and I'm not allowed to vote?  Clearly I'm misunderstanding something.

  •  Can these be challenged in court and can't go into (0+ / 0-)

    effect until the challenge is resolved?

  •  Repubs are disgusting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B, rlharry, Matt Z

    They can't win on the issues, so they make it hard for folks they perceive as on the other side, from voting.  

    What are they going to do when whites are no longer in the majority?  They have spent the last few years vilifying everyone, but whites.  (I am white)

    It looks now that they have the rich, those who think they might be rich, low info voters and homophobic racists.

    Makes a nice picture, huh?

    •  When whites aren't in the majority... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sue B, ahumbleopinion, Matt Z

      they'll set the gays against the blacks against the latinos against the women against the working classes.

      Pretty much what they're doing right now.  Lost your job?  It's because of high taxes to pay for welfare (blacks), the money we're spending to educate all the border babies (latinos), and the benefits we're paying to the (gays).

      You nailed it - the new gop coalition:

      the rich, those who think they might be rich, low info voters and homophobic racists


      by stcroix cheesehead on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:32:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is depressing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ahumbleopinion, rlharry, Matt Z

    Here are a few sentence from the "How to be a Republican but still find ways to win elections" pamphlet every new Republican representative is given:

    If you can't win on the merits of your arguments, which is most likely the case, change the subject or end the debate. If still not successful, block those who disagree with you, or those who are devastated by you polices, from voting! Its the surest way to maintain power, because after all that is all we care about, not that silly notion of governance.  God bless this party!

  •  Make no mistake other Rethug (6+ / 0-)

    governors  are watching and waiting to do the same.
    They are indeed in lockstep.
    Wisconsin, South Carolina.....I expect Ohio to follow suit.
    Disenfranchise voters? What better way to consolidate your power.  The message: WE are in charge now  and we will do anything we need to do to stay there. ANYTHING.

    Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power. Eric Hoffer 1902-1983

    by mchestnutjr on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:37:14 AM PDT

  •  wisconsin republicans afraid (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, buckybadger1988, Matt Z

    of Wisconsin voters.  They are so toast at the end of this term.  

  •  so what are we going to do to make sure (3+ / 0-)

    these people can vote and make it to the polls .... the only way to make this a failed effort on this part is to go into high gear by meeting and surpassing all the hurdles put in front of us.

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:49:29 AM PDT

  •  IN requires photo id and I didn't have mine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with me in the recent primary for mayor, city and county council.  They were supposed to tell me I could file a provisional ballot and come back in 10 days with ID to validate my vote, but they didn't.  

    As I understand it, people won't be required to have photo id for the recalls although they will ask for it.  It's going to be important for Democratic voters to know they can go ahead and vote.   If they have something like a provisional ballot then folks need to know about that.

    The calls to voters can tell them the rules and will be more important than ever in Wisconsin. It also gives people time to get a photo id in hand before the primaries next year.  And it's also a chance to let Democrats know what the Republicans are up to and how important their vote is.

    I'm very glad the Universities stood up to them and got that part of the law changed.  Students have to have an ID so my understanding now is that they are set.  And probably pretty fired up.

    It's not the Republican party anymore, it's the Libertarian party.  They should just change their name.  

    This can be used against them just like all of the other asshat tactics they are using.

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." ~Albert Einstein

    by ParkRanger on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:50:08 AM PDT

  •  Will the Democratic party volunteers in WI (5+ / 0-)

    organize to go door-to-door in low-income neighborhoods to see who lacks voter ID?  Then they could drive them to the DMV to get their ID--if you have the same setup we have in Virginia.  Nondrivers here can still get an official ID, it's just not a driver's license.

    To me this sounds UNCONSTITUTIONAL!  Why are we different from Nazi Germany?  Because we don't constantly have to carry "papers."  I really think this sounds unlawful.

    And how can they stop absentee voting?  Jeez, with other states even allowing mail-in voting, Wisconsin's going to revert to the 19th century?  What's next, we have to drive to the polls in a horse-drawn buggy?

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:59:10 AM PDT

  •  BFD. Already passed in Texas House: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Passed the House 98-46, waiting for Gov. Goodhair's signature.  Oh, and it was an "emergency".

    Gov. Rick Perry’s signature will mark a victory for Republicans on an issue that has split along partisan lines for years.

    The measure requires voters to present a valid state or federal photo. A driver’s license, personal card, military, passport or concealed-handgun permit would be accepted.

    The bill that Perry called an “emergency” item for this legislative session divided the Legislature along party lines. Republicans argued the legislation would prevent voter fraud while Democrats cited concerns for the elderly, minority and poor populations who may not have the means to obtain a photo.

    Wisconsin is just a little later to the crazy.

    Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:06:42 AM PDT

    •  Oh and the two states' populations: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlharry, buckybadger1988

      WI (2009): 5,654,774 (US Census Bureau est.)
      TX (2010): 25,145,561 (US Census Bureau est.)

      Assuming similar age distribution, we have roughly FIVE TIMES AS MANY VOTERS as in Wisconsin.  So, where is the voter suppression a bigger story?

      Repeat for several other states, and it involves a lot of the potential electorate.  I would only venture to say that it wil affect ALL citizens and voters who don't habitually carry an ID when they go to vote.  I've worked the polls, and people either walk over and didn't bring ID, or they drove and still didn't bring ID.  Under current law and practive in Texas, you just sign an affidavit stating you are who you say, and that you are a registered vote, under penalty of law.

      However, a LOT of folks may show up without ID, and thebest they may get is a provisional ballot that will only get counted inthe event of a close race or re-count, or they will flat be turned away.  Wait and see.

      2012 elections will be interesting, and full of challenges and BS to straighten it out afterwards.  The lawyers winm, everyone else loses.

      Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

      by tom 47 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:20:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If public relations strategies don't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    work to thin the electorate and shape the "playing field," then other mechanisms have to be employed.  Government BY the people is anathema to the proponents of a stratified society and the objectives of petty potentates.

    While some conservatives are content to see themselves as servants of the state, answering to the people is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.  Populism is so déclassé.

    by hannah on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:29:07 AM PDT

  •  Easy, unassailable answer to vote restricting: (0+ / 0-)

    national ID card.

    It could be easily spun as a way to fight terrorism, illegal immigration, and no one could be denied their right to vote.

    Only the crazy "black helicopter" lunatics would fully oppose it.

    The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

    by verasoie on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:42:52 AM PDT

  •  Hey Lawyers . . . (0+ / 0-)

    Gov. Walker has admitted that he did not run his campaign on the intensely anti-union policies that he is implementing.  This amounts to a serious case of bait-and-switch . . . one with catastrophic implications, not only for Wisconsin but for the entire country.

    Is there legal standing for the citizens of Wisconsin to request a temporary restraining order until the recall has had a chance to be heard under the same rules as Walker's election?

  •  Sounds like time for an injunction (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Maned Pensator, Matt Z

    based on the constitutionality of the law

    New favorite put-down: S/he's as dumb as a flock of Sarah Palins

    by sleipner on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:04:05 AM PDT

  •  If you can't scare people away from voting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    then legislate them from voting. Bleep censored for SFW.

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:08:38 AM PDT

  •  no picture state ID (0+ / 0-)

    I oppose a state ID which include a photo that a voter much request from a government agency. These State IDs are for eight years and people change. Since many Wisconsin residents look alike or similar its possible to share a friend's ID who looks so much like you if you want to cheat.

    No one does cheat when they vote. Voters are honest.

    A woman 75 years old with no ID or drivers license who has voted and knows the local officials will be turned away even if she has voted forty years. They know her but unless she has papers to show them she can not vote.

  •  We will beat this as well. Forward !!! -nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z
  •  Please donate to Fred Clark! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, buckybadger1988, zephyr108

    Fred Clark is my WI State Assembly Rep and he is running in the Recall Election against GOP Senator Olsen. Fred Clark is a real WI progressive, a forester and a great person. Fred has been extremely helpful in our Assembly district and will be a great State Senator!

    We are doing our best here to GOTV, but the GOP Senator has 3x as much money as Fred.

    Your help is most appreciated!

    "We are slow to realize that democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ~ "Fighting Bob" - Robert M. LaFollette Sr.

    by Sand Hill Crane on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:36:10 PM PDT

  •  Then we need to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    make sure those voters are aware of these changes as soon as possible, so they can prepare for election day.

  •  State-issued ID (0+ / 0-)

    It seems to me that unless the bill specifically forbids it, isn't a University of Wisconsin ID with your picture on it a state-issued ID?  This won't have the effect the repugs think it will if I'm correct here.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed May 18, 2011 at 04:51:36 PM PDT

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