David Bowen
Press Release

Confirmed by Wisconsin Republicans: Voter ID is intended to rig elections

“Wisconsin Republicans’ recent confession that the goal of voter ID is to rig elections for Republicans shows there is no ethical purpose in keeping this law in place.”

By - Apr 7th, 2016 04:44 pm

MILWAUKEE – In a recent interview, Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Campbellsport) was asked how he thinks potential GOP nominees will fare in the 2016 Presidential election. In his response, Grothman said, “Now we have photo ID…photo ID is gonna make a little bit of a difference,” confirming that the purpose of voter ID is not to prevent voter impersonation, but to rig elections in favor of Republicans. Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement in response to Republicans’ recent admission of their intentional fraud against the people of Wisconsin:

“At least Congressman Grothman is telling the truth. The Republican Party has been deliberately deceiving the public about the one true goal of voter ID since their voter suppression effort was first conceived. Now that they have been honest about its purpose, they should work with Democrats to repeal this anti-democratic law.”

If Grothman’s comments weren’t convincing enough, a former staffer for a Republican state senator recently recalled discussions that took place at meetings he was in when senators were drafting Wisconsin’s voter ID legislation. Here is what the GOP staffer had to say:

“A handful of the GOP Senators were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters. Think about that for a minute. Elected officials planning and happy to help deny a fellow American’s constitutional right to vote in order to increase their own chances to hang onto power. A vigorous debate on the ideas wasn’t good enough. Inspiring the electorate and relying on their agenda being better to get people to vote for them wasn’t enough. No, they had to take the coward’s way out and come up with a plan to suppress the vote under the guise of ‘voter fraud.’”

Politifact recently rated “true” an assertion by Congressman Pocan (D-Vermont) that more people are struck by lightning than commit the type of voter fraud that voter ID was purported to prevent, the suggested existence of which Republicans have now made clear is the real fraud in this debate.
Bowen concluded, “Wisconsin Republicans’ recent confession that the goal of voter ID is to rig elections for Republicans shows there is no ethical purpose in keeping this law in place. It should be repealed.”

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18 thoughts on “Confirmed by Wisconsin Republicans: Voter ID is intended to rig elections”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Here’s how you beat those dirty Republicans at their own game: get an ID. Problem solved.

  2. Jeffrey W. Jordan says:

    I’m all for voter ID right after they make available at No Cost.
    Free copies of birth certificates or refund of the cost if it comes from another state.
    Absent a birth certificate, it should be enough to establish residence via home purchase contract, landlord records, utility bills or job history.
    All of this should be available by mail or internet transaction. No one should have to stand in line and travel miles to be able to vote or get an ID that proves they can vote.
    The voter idea always was and still is solving a problem that never existed.

  3. Jason says:

    What functioning adult who is living by the rules doesn’t have an ID? And if by chance there is some adult out there who doesn’t have an ID, it’s just not that hard to get one. Aside from needing one to vote, how do you get through other things in life without one? And no, I don’t vote republican.

  4. Vincent Hanna says:

    This is part of the problem. People who have an ID don’t understand why everyone doesn’t and why anyone else would have a hard time obtaining one. It’s ignorant. Here’s some reading for you. Study up.

    http://www.brennancenter.org/publication/challenge-obtaining-voter-identification

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/08/voter_id_laws_why_do_minorities_lack_id_to_show_at_the_polls_.html

  5. tom says:

    The committee discussion behind closed doors and the giddiness at the prospect of suppressing democratic voters proves that republican legislators and Walker are cowards. They cannot win fair and square so they have to cheat. Redistricting is another example of republican cowardice.

  6. Tom D says:

    Jason (post 3):

    Who doesn’t have a state photo ID these days? Older people who don’t fly or drive.

    If you’re older than a certain age, you don’t need an ID for alcohol or tobacco. You use a Medicare card to see a doctor (and you don’t need an ID to sign up for Medicare, just a Social Security number).

    Requiring ID to open a bank account only started after 9/11, and anybody with an account older than that has never needed an ID. And you don’t need an ID to open a second bank account (say, a CD or money market to go with your checking account) even if you have never shown them your ID because your banking relationship pre-dates 9/11.

    You don’t need an ID to get a credit card; you can sign up online without ever showing an ID.

    You need an ID to get a job these days, but that requirement is new, too. If you’ve been working at the same place since the late 1980s, you’ve never needed an ID to work. Even if you started after that, it’s possible you’ve never needed a PHOTO ID; for many years (at least into the 1990s), a photo-less Social Security card was all the ID you needed to get hired. (And, of course, many older Americans are retired and don’t work at all.)

    I have an aunt who didn’t have an ID prior to her death in 2012 at age 80. She lived in Milwaukee’s east side, didn’t drive, lived on her City pension and Social Security, owned a condo, had bank accounts and credit cards, and left an estate worth nearly one million dollars.

    She once had a Wisconsin ID (so she could fly), but it expired, and she said it was too much trouble to find her birth certificate and then go downtown to get a new one and she was living fine without one.

    So, yes, there are people (mostly older) who don’t have IDs—older people who don’t fly or drive. Just co-incidentally, they are a demographic that votes for Democrats more than Republicans.

  7. Dave says:

    Don’t forget college students, Tom D. It’s blatantly obvious Wisconsin Republicans wrote the law so that college students could not use their out of state IDs or existing college IDs to vote here. I can’t believe a judge not named Randa allowed this law to be used.

  8. Michael Lisowski says:

    Having worked as an election inspector / poll worker at the last 2 elections, I fail to see the sense on the different restrictions for the types of voter ID. I guess making it simple was not the game plan. As long as the picture matches the person’s face why should date & type of ID matter? Oops…I forgot.. It’s supposed to be confusing & discouraging

  9. WashCoRepub says:

    It was wonderful being in line Tuesday at our local polling place, knowing that when my vote was cast, it wouldn’t be nullified by a potential fraudulent vote. Having confidence in our democratic voting process is critical in a just & fair democracy, and the great voter turnout numbers this week really should have removed any doubt about this simple requirement being very valuable, and not an impediment to honest voters across the state.

  10. Vincent Hanna says:

    There was never any reason to not feel confident WashCoRepub. We do not and have never had a voter fraud problem. However, suppressing the vote is antithetical to a just and fair democracy, meaning you don’t actually care about a just and fair democracy.

  11. Bruce Thompson says:

    There is a myth that it is easy to get an ID. The problem is, before they will issue one, the clerks want to see your ID. The process can stretch out for years even if lawyers are involved.

  12. Jeremy says:

    It’s also about encouraging behavior. If the elderly population, despite it being a hassle, can make it a priority to get an ID anyone can. No offense Tom D. but your aunt, who was retired and couldn’t be hassled to get an ID just exemplifies laziness or that voting would not be a priority to her. The college students are a prime example of using legislation to encourage behavior. There is, and was, plenty of time for each and every college student to get the appropriate documents for voting. If they can navigate providing a current vaccination record to enroll in our local universities, they can figure out how to vote. It’s not the drive-thru, it’s not on an app, it’s a responsibility and something all college students are capable of fulfilling. Let’s stop making excuses.

  13. Vincent Hanna says:

    If it is about encouraging behavior why didn’t Republicans spend a dime on educating people about the law?

  14. Tom D says:

    Jeremy (post 12):

    Let me guess your age… I’ll guess you are under 50 (and probably under 40). Am I right?

    I say this because you seem to have no idea how your body slows down and your energy level drops with age. It wasn’t laziness on my aunt’s part, it was lack of energy due to age (her late 70s).

    And it said nothing about whether she saw voting as a priority, since she died (in 2012) well BEFORE Wisconsin’s voter ID law took effect.

    In order for her to get a state ID, she would need a birth certificate. (This wasn’t required when she first got a state ID in the early 1990s.) In order to get her birth certificate, she would be asked for an ID. Would they accept her long-expired state ID so she could get a birth certificate? I don’t know.

    In many states, Republicans are making it harder to vote, especially for Democratic-leaning groups. Last month in Arizona, Republicans reduced the number of urban (but not rural) polling locations “to save money”. Phoenix was allowed just one polling place for every 108,000 residents. Imagine the lines if Milwaukee were allowed only 5 or 6 polling places for the entire city, but that’s what happened in Phoenix (but not its suburbs)!

    In Phoenix, some polling places had half-mile, 5-hour, lines; polls closed at 7 pm, but some people in line by 7:00 weren’t actually handed a ballot until after midnight. Some people stayed in line even after election workers came outside and announced that the election had been decided and they should just go home without voting; eventually, all who remained were allowed to vote.

    At least one voter fainted in the mid-day heat, and another needed over 2 hours to find a parking space so she could vote.

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/03/22/live-arizona-primary-coverage-presidential-preference-election/82096726/

    In that same election, nearby affluent communities had much shorter lines.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/29/us/arizona-election-official-apologizes-for-long-wait-at-polls.html

    In Wisconsin, the Republicans are targeting non-drivers by putting them through scavenger hunts to get the right papers and approvals on the right days (some DMV offices are open less than one day per month) to vote. Meanwhile, drivers (and I assume you are one, right?) are given a pass and don’t see what the big deal is.

  15. Vincent Hanna says:

    And remember what they did in Alabama? http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/09/alabama_sends_message_we_are_t.html

    “Take a look at the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentage of non-white registered voters. That’s Macon, Greene, Sumter, Lowndes, Bullock, Perry, Wilcox, Dallas, Hale, and Montgomery, according to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office. Alabama, thanks to its budgetary insanity and inanity, just opted to close driver license bureaus in eight of them. All but Dallas and Montgomery will be closed.

    Closed. In a state in which driver licenses or special photo IDs are a requirement for voting.”

  16. Jeremy says:

    Tom D.
    Under 40. Check.
    Drivers License. Check (Although I drive less than 100 miles per week)
    My experience with your aunt’s generation is that they make less excuses than you are providing for them. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many 80+ year olds that put my daily output to shame. You make some good points about the changes in regulations over time. I still maintain that if voting is of personal importance, people will make the time to provide the documentation and an inconvenience won’t stop them.

  17. Tim says:

    Jeremy, I appreciate your anecdotes but real world experience doesn’t bear that out.

  18. Vincent Hanna says:

    Yeah sorry Jeremy but you knowing a few active elderly people is not strong evidence and as Tim says doesn’t reflect reality. And how you define inconvenience is probably different from how others define it. See the story about Alabama for evidence. Entire counties without a single place to get a driver’s license. That’s a pretty severe “inconvenience.” It’s not that voting isn’t personally important.

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