The documents were given to volunteers at a training session Oct. 25 in Racine. It was one of six such training sessions in Wisconsin the past two weeks.
Some key elements:
• On page 16, the document states that “The ONLY Acceptable Forms of ‘Proof of Residency'" includes “Any other identification card issued by an employer in the normal course of business and bearing a photo of the cardholder, but not including a business card.” Any college ID card, it says, “must include a photo." Just one big problem: Wisconsin's voter ID law was overruled by two state judges. The Wisconsin Supreme Court decided in September that it would not hear a direct appeal on the cases until after lower appeals courts have reviewed them. Which means there is NO law requiring a photo ID in effect for the 2012 election. (If you are uncertain about your own state's law regarding proper ID at the polls, here is a handy guide from ProPublica.)
• The document goes on to present 10 items that are "The ONLY Acceptable Forms of Proof of Residency.” But many other acceptable items are not included.
• The document claims that any “person [who] has been convicted of treason, a felony, or bribery” isn’t eligible to vote. Not true. Wisconsin law is stricter than in states where convicted felons automatically regain their voting rights when they are released from incarceration. But in Wisconsin, felons may vote upon completion of sentences, including parole, probation and the payment of all fines. There are no special exceptions for some crimes.
The essential role of anyone who serves in a paid or volunteer capacity for elections, whether they are secretaries of state or poll watchers, ought to be ensuring that every person who has a legal right to vote is able to exercise that right unfettered. Creating obstacles, which is the transparent purpose of the disinformation including in the training documents, is unAmerican no matter how much flag-waving accompanies the action. We can expect to see a lot more of it in the week ahead. If you see it. Report it. Make noise about it.
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