Wisconsin Republicans getting desperate to keep Scott Walker's job.
Ten days ago, the Supreme Court delayed implementation
of Wisconsin's voter ID law until after this year's election. Since the Republicans there cannot count on the law to keep voters from the polls, they're calling for vigilantes
to take the law into their own hands.
Milwaukee County’s Republican Elections Commissioner Rick Baas warned a crowd of volunteers and supporters Friday night to be "concerned about voter fraud," and urged the hundreds of attendees to take an "extra step of vigilance. […] You as a Wisconsin resident can challenge people who are not supposed to be voting," he said at the Milwaukee County Republicans event. "You’ve got to do that." […]
"There's a fine line by legitimate questions and harassment and intimidation," said Darryl Morin, the Midwest vice president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Morin told ThinkProgress that as a Republican it is "disappointing" to see such rhetoric coming from "a party that claims to be reaching out to minorities."
Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) signed a law earlier this year allowing poll observers to be as close as three feet to a voter. Democratic lawmakers and progressive organizers have expressed concern that the measure could lead to greater harassment and intimidation and Morin said that some of LULAC’s Wisconsin members have already experienced such treatment when going to cast a ballot.
It is true that under state law, anyone can challenge
a voter. But they can't do it just because, oh, let's say just because that person happens to be brown. Or young. Any person challenging a voter has to swear an oath
that they have personal knowledge that the person trying to vote is not qualified. So what are Republican officials really calling for here? After all, it's not too likely that every Republican going to the polls is going to have direct knowledge about the people voting with them and whether they should be there. What they're calling for is intimidation of would-be voters based on profiling.
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Wisconsin voters need to be aware of their rights, and they need to be prepared to confront any of these potential vigilantes with the facts. But to make life easier, and to thwart these voter intimidation plans, they can also vote early
, starting today.