Jonathan Brostoff
Press Release

Brostoff Denounces Appeals Court’s Voter ID Ruling

Candidate for State Assembly Calls for Open and Fair Voting Laws in Wisconsin

By - Sep 13th, 2014 03:05 pm

MILWAUKEE – Jonathan Brostoff, District Director for Senate Democratic Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and candidate for State Assembly in District 19, denounced yesterday’s U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to lift the injunction against Wisconsin’s voter ID law.

“I am extremely disappointed in the federal appeals panel’s decision to reinstate Wisconsin’s voter ID law.” Brostoff said in the statement. “With less than eight weeks until the November 4 general election, a change of this magnitude to voting procedures is transparently partisan and entirely unacceptable.”

When a U.S. District Court judge ruled on these cases in April, it was estimated that 300,000 Wisconsin residents do not hold a valid ID. Requiring these individuals to obtain an ID prior to the general election will likely result in more legitimate votes lost than cases of voter fraud prevented. In his April ruling, the judge noted that the state could not identify any examples of voter fraud by impersonation.

“By requiring an ID to vote, our state is adding obstacles to the voting process, which will restrict voting access to specific groups that make up a large portion of Milwaukee’s population.” Brostoff continues. “These types of laws disproportionately keep the elderly, people of color, students, and the poor from exercising their right to vote.”

Governor Walker and Republicans in the state legislature wish to implement the voter ID law by the November election. According to the ACLU of Wisconsin, successful implementation of this law will require the state to properly train thousands of municipal clerks and poll workers, and educate voters on the new regulations. It is unlikely that such a large change to voting procedures can be effectively implemented in less than eight weeks without significant and unnecessary costs to Wisconsin taxpayers, and without overburdening our state’s hard-working poll workers.

“Nothing is more fundamental to democracy than the right to vote,” said Brostoff. “This is why we need to keep our voting laws as open and fair as possible. Republicans have already interfered with our ability to vote early and vote absentee. Processes like same day registration, early voting, and absentee voting should be expanded, rather than restricted. Following the federal appeals panel’s ruling, we need to ensure that everyone has access to a valid ID and voter registration. Widely accessible voting information like the City of Milwaukee Election Commission’s online voter resources is crucial to preserving the voting rights of all individuals.

“Yesterday’s federal appeals panel decision supported Republican efforts to achieve election victories by sacrificing the voting rights that so many fought to obtain. Americans struggled to achieve voting rights and it is unacceptable to return to such restrictive voting laws. Democracy in Wisconsin cannot be dismantled for partisan politics and this trend cannot be allowed to continue.”

Jonathan Brostoff is the District Director for Senate Democratic Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and is a candidate for State Assembly in District 19. A longtime resident and community leader in the district, Brostoff is dedicated to bringing effective, progressive leadership to the state legislature. The general election is on November 4th.

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