Voter Suppression: Bringing Jobs since 2010

Scott Walker: Bringing Jobs since 2010

Voter suppression has been an American tradition since the days of our founding fathers. It’s sad and appalling, but true. At first our Constitution only recognized the right of white male land owners. That was as of 1790. Also, did I mention you had to have a prerequisite as a Christian to vote? Yep, that would probably mean James Madison couldn’t vote… That whole agnosticism or atheism thing might’ve gotten in the way. Well, that rule was abolished in 1810.

Craziest thing was that we didn’t abolish the land ownership requirement until 1850. Literally 61 years of our country’s foundation are born on this principle of white land ownership. And all sorts of laws were STILL on the books holding people from voting. It’s kind of nuts when you think about it. As a modern day citizen, a voter, student and a young person; I look around me and see all sorts of people who care about what happens in their society, albeit some of them don’t vote, sadly.

I can still remember the first time I ever helped people vote. I was in high school, and unfortunately wasn’t eligible to vote at the time of the 2008 Presidential Preference Primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but I went around the high school to all of my friends who were seniors and urged them and offered to take them with and register them to vote. Some of my teachers even allowed me to walk around the school during class and pull students from their courses to head down to the balloting station in the school. I loved it. And I’m proud, to this day, that I did that.

Yet, we have people like Scott Walker, and Scott Fitzgerald who want to make it harder for people to vote, rather than have a complete and true representative democracy in action in the State of Wisconsin.

We can all remember the Voter ID bill that was passed. Well, currently that law is being held up in court battles. As a person who has helped many register to vote, and ultimately cast their ballot, I can say that I am thankful that we have this battle ensuing for at least a little bit.

In Wisconsin we have an amazing track record of fair, honest and open elections. But every year we hear about the voter fraud argument like it’s a war cry from the right to bring true democracy to our state’s elections. So let’s investigate this. Wisconsin State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen  wants to go after voter fraud and make it a thing of the past. But it seems like that has all ready kind have happened. In 2008, he began an investigation into the elections and found a meager 11 total ballots improperly cast. Can someone explain how that is going to turn an election result realistically?

But beyond that let’s think about why it’s  a GOP priority to make people have identification to vote. What are some populations that tend to vote certain ways? Let’s think.

1. We all know students and young people are more likely to vote for a Democratic candidate over any other party.

2. The African American community has trended to vote for a Democratic candidate since the 1960s civil rights battles that people shed blood for.

3. People with lower incomes also trend to vote for the Dem ticket rather than crossing over to the GOP.

Huh. Well isn’t that something interesting when you add this little fact sheet into the equation. (Provided by One Wisconsin Now).

Wisconsin’s population is substantially less likely to have a state-issued identification. Those without state-issued photo identification and who would need to obtain one under the Wisconsin Voter ID bill include:

    • 23 percent of all elderly Wisconsinites over the age of 65
    • 17 percent of white men and women
    • 55 percent of all African American males and 49 percent of African American women
    • 46 percent of Hispanic men and 59% of Hispanic women
    • 78 percent of African American males age 18-24 and 66 percent of African American women age 18-24

[Driver License Status of the Voting Age Population in Wisconsin, 6/05]

Hmmmm. Methinks you have displaced the mirth, GOP.

Now here’s my take. I’m a student, and you’re reading what I have to say, so listen up folks: students vote. Holy cow! Blasphemy! WHAT?!

Oh yeah, we vote. In this state we have 44,000 students that didn’t originate here. Under the Wisconsin voter ID law, you need a WISCONSIN ID to vote. I don’t know how many of you have been to the DMV lately, but those cost money, unless you ask for it specifically for voting purposes. And I don’t know about many college students out there, but I’m poor. I also know plenty who don’t have access to a car. Oh, we also have class during the day when most DMV service centers are open and available to provide these ID cards.

Students are able to prove identification with student ID cards, however. This was originally not included in the bill, but thanks to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and a group of persistent students and young folks at United Council, republicans allowed these to be used. However, they made using them for voting harder than using a regular ID.

This means that you are required to show a proof of enrollment upon presenting your student identification card. Proof of enrollment means just what it says, proof that you are enrolled in the school you have your ID from. At first glance this wouldn’t seem such a big deal. However, most students don’t just have a proof of enrollment form on them at all times. Often times, and in many of our universities in this state, you have to go to a separate office and obtain the form yourself, taking time out of a busy course and study schedule. This also would create a burden for students not normally put on people with a valid state issued photo ID. A photo ID is a photo ID. You can read more about these arguments in the amicus brief filed by the WDC and joined by UC here.

So let’s get this straight. Walker wants to go after the single digit numbers that commit voter fraud…because they can change an election’s outcome…right? But hell, what’s 44,000 votes of students. I mean that would never change an election…

Did I mention that this would cost MILLIONS of dollars and create a huge bureaucracy in the DMV…more than already exists?

All of this just doesn’t add up. Especially because when Governor Walker was elected, he promised us jobs. He actually promised us more jobs than the current unemployment rate, effectively ridding us of the woe of unemployment. But hey…it’s a floor, not a ceiling…

Well, I have a question for Mr. Walker: what about this legislation brings jobs?




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5 thoughts on “Voter Suppression: Bringing Jobs since 2010

  1. Spot on, Dustin. Spot on. Kudos to you for your voter registration efforts and thank you for doing it. So many people don’t vote because they’re not engaged in the political process. It’s difficult to stay informed. But registering is one step toward voting for someone who might be on the fence.

    Thank you for taking the time out from your studies to post this.

  2. Steve,

    I do think your new plan is tremendous and deserving of comment that matches the tremendous effort you made in crafting it. You obviously put in an incredible amount of work into devising it and presenting it. That I didn’t comment isn’t a reflection of non-recognition nor a reflection of non-admiration. i also wanted to gauge where the direction of the comments would go. I only read through your post once, and I felt it deserved at least a second read before commenting. It wouldn’t have occurred to me you’d be eager for my opinion. If I thought so, I’d have commented more promptly. Okay, I’ll go over there now.

  3. Thanks guys for the praise.

    I updated the post to reflect some errors that I had stated regarding the requirement of an ID with a current address. That is corrected.

    Also something was brought to my attention about student IDs being able to be used for voting, but still requiring more proof than a regular ID, thus requiring an unnecessary burden on students who don’t have state issued IDs. Like those who would be from out of state that are still living here and are eligible to vote here. That is now included and I’ve attached a brief helping me out with the information.

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