MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature have attempted to justify their five-year-long assault on voting rights in Wisconsin as a fight against fraud. But today in the federal voting rights lawsuit, One Wisconsin Institute et. al. v. Gerald Nichol et. al., Dr. Lorraine Minnite, likely the nation’s leading scholar on voter fraud, testified that there have been zero cases of in-person voter impersonation in Wisconsin. She also noted that the voter ID law will not prevent any other impropriety and that the GOP has displayed a “consistent pattern” of using allegations of voter fraud for political gain. A copy of Dr. Minnite’s report to the court can be found at onewi.org/15-CV-324.
“Today the real fraud in Wisconsin elections was exposed, and it’s Gov. Walker and the Republicans’ five-year-long effort to manipulate the rules on voting to give themselves an unfair partisan advantage,” commented One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross. “
Dr. Minnite’s testimony is just the latest evidence presented at trial to prove that a host of election law changes that the Republican-controlled state government have implemented since taking control have nothing to do with elections integrity and everything to do with their sponsors’ interest in maintaining their seats, even if it means purposely suppressing voting rights – including in particular the rights of minorities, young people, and the poor – to do it.
On Monday, a former top Republican legislative aide testified that legislators were “giddy” at the prospects of passing a voter ID law they explicitly discussed could help them win elections and would reduce voter participation in urban areas and on college campuses.
The testimony of other experts has vividly demonstrated just how the GOP manipulation of the law has impacted voter participation. Professor Barry Burden submitted research to the court demonstrating that Wisconsin election law disproportionately affects black and Latino voters, young people and poor people. Professor Ken Mayer testified that there was concrete evidence that voter ID disenfranchises voters saying, “It is not inferential at this point.”
Ross concluded, “The Republican allegations about voting impropriety have been exposed today as nothing more as propaganda in their campaign to do whatever it takes to keep their grip on power, even if it means subverting our democracy by denying legal voters the franchise.”