MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker is defending his rigging of the rules on voting to give himself and his fellow Republicans an unfair partisan advantage by repeatedly making the demonstrably false assertion that measures like voter ID, “made it easier to vote and harder to cheat.” One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that the more things change, the more they stay the same with Walker, citing the recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel series about Gov. Walker’s rise to power that reported in 2004, as the state co-chair of George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, “His duties included stoking fears of voter fraud.”
“Whether it’s the blatantly false claim of 2016 that his attacks on voting rights including voter ID have made it easier to vote or his 2004 promotion of the myth of fraudulent voting Scott Walker has never hesitated to run afoul of the truth to advance his political ambitions,” commented Ross. “It is sickening to see an elected official working so hard to undermine the integrity of our democracy for personal political gain.”
Far from making it easier to vote, Walker has pursued a legislative agenda designed to make it harder and more complicated for voters to make their voices heard in elections, including a strict voter ID law, restricting early voting and impeding voter registration.
In reality, when passing the voter ID law, Republicans in the legislature certainly did not intend their actions would make it easier to vote. In testimony in federal court a former Republican insider testified that GOP legislators were “giddy” at the prospect of passing a voter ID law they believed would suppress Democratic votes and help them win elections.
As a result of the federal voting rights lawsuit One Wisconsin Institute, et. al. v. Thomsen, et. al. several of the laws, like restrictions on early voting, were struck down and the state voter ID law was found to be be unconstitutionally administered.
Judge James Peterson unequivocally opined, “None of these laws made registration or voting easier for anyone …” He also went on to write that, “… the election laws passed between 2011 and 2014 were motivated in large part by the Republican majority’s partisan interests.”
In litigation related to the voter ID law the state Department of Justice has failed to produce a single instance of in-person voter impersonation, the only voting impropriety an ID requirement could prevent, occurring in Wisconsin.
Ross noted that Gov. Walker is the personification of the real fraud in elections, a partisan politician seeking to manipulate the rules on voting to give themselves an unfair partisan advantage. That Walker would justify his actions with a talking point with no factual basis and mislead about the integrity of elections only makes his anti-democratic actions even more despicable.
He concluded, “Gov. Walker and the Republican controlled legislature’s rigging of the rules on voting and seeking to silence the voices of legal voters is un-American. And their dishonesty in trying to justify their actions is unbecoming of officials holding positions of public trust.”