MADISON, Wis. — As outrage and denunciations of the request for sensitive, personal information about voters from Donald Trump’s commission on elections spreads across the country, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker continues to dodge the issue. In publicly reported comments, Walker, who has led the state GOP’s efforts to manipulate the rules on voting to gain unfair partisan advantage, claimed, “You don’t want a politician, you don’t want a Republican or Democrat directly involved …”
“Take your pick on what’s more outrageous about Scott Walker dodging this issue,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “That he’s refusing to stand up to Trump and denounce his effort to get states to turn over sensitive, personal information about voters or that he would even think to claim there is no partisanship at work here.”
Late last week a commission, established by executive order by Donald Trump issued a letter to election administrators in all fifty states requesting sensitive personal information about registered voters, including portions of social security numbers, birth date, voting history and any information about individual’s partisan political preference.
The commission was created by Trump after he made the proven-false claim that voting impropriety resulted in his three million-plus popular vote loss. In addition to the faulty premise that underlies it, Trump appointed Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State and Republican gubernatorial hopeful, as co-chair of the effort. Kobach previously worked to pass a law that was estimated to have prevented 20,000 Kansas residents from being able to register to vote in 2014. The Kobach backed law has been challenged in court where judges have since enjoined enforcement of his anti-voter registration efforts.
Ross noted that Walker himself has been all too willing to put his gubernatorial thumb on the scale to tip the rules on voting in his favor. As Governor, Walker has signed in to law measures to restrict early voting, impose a strict voter ID requirement and add additional barriers making it harder and more complicated for targeted groups like students and seniors to vote.
One Wisconsin Now’s partner organization, One Wisconsin Institute, is the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging numerous election law changes imposed by Walker and the Republican controlled legislature. In a ruling last summer suspending several restrictions including those on early voting, federal Judge James Peterson wrote, “… the conclusion is nearly inescapable: the election laws passed between 2011 and 2014 were motivated in large part by the Republican majority’s partisan interests.”
“Scott Walker is standing by and making excuses instead of standing up to the latest outrageousness from Donald Trump and his administration. While Walker’s cowardice is disappointing it’s not unexpected based on his own record of manipulating the rules on voting to give himself an unfair electoral advantage,” concluded Ross.