MILWAUKEE — The following are the statements of U.S. Army veteran and UW-Waukesha student Saul Newton delivered at a community event on the recent 7th Circuit Court decision lifting an injunction on the enforcement of a photo ID requirement for voting in Wisconsin:
“My name is Saul Newton. I am here on behalf of the nonpartisan, progressive research and advocacy group One Wisconsin Now. I am also a student at the University of Wisconsin- Waukesha, pursuing a degree in communications.
“Like every group here, One Wisconsin Now will work tirelessly so that every legal voter who wants to vote, gets to vote and has their vote counted.
“Today, on behalf of college students in every corner of this state, I have a message for Governor Scott Walker, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, and every elected official who supported this discriminatory law: We will not back down.
“And while we believe the court’s decision was unfair and undemocratic, we believe this decision will motivate voters from across Wisconsin to vote in record numbers.
“Despite the impositions Scott Walker and his cronies in the legislature have placed on our ability to make our voice heard, we are ready to turn out on November 4.
“Despite the fact that most university issued student identification cards do not meet the overbearing requirements in the Voter ID law, we will still vote.
“Despite the fact that this law is a blatant attempt to suppress the right of every Wisconsin citizen to a free, fair and accessible ballot box, we will not be deterred.
“College students will not sit idly by while politicians change and manipulate the rules just weeks before a crucial election.
“As a student, I know this law will motivate my fellow students to vote. Because when you try to force us out of the ballot box, you guarantee we will come out. We take our right to vote as seriously as we take our responsibility as tomorrow’s leaders to have a say in our democracy.
“Gov. Walker wants to keep students from the polls, because we know his record. Under Scott Walker we’ve gotten hundreds of millions of dollars cut from our universities and tech schools, and hundreds of millions more in higher tuition. We had our financial aid cut by $40 million, and Gov. Walker opposed the Higher Ed, Lower Debt plan to let us refinance our student loans at more competitive market rates.
“We won’t back down because we have a voice that our elected officials need to hear.
“Governor Walker claims we need Voter ID because of fraud. Let me tell you, the real fraud is partisan politicians who time and time again try to manipulate the process for political gain.
“But mark my words, this time it’s going to backfire. And the students of Wisconsin are going to prove you wrong, Governor Walker.
“The last thing I have to say today is this: Before I was a student at UW-Waukesha, I was a solider in the U.S. Army, where I served my country in Kandahar Province. I did not fight for our democratic values in Afghanistan, to have Gov. Walker threaten our democracy in Wisconsin.”