August 22, 2012

Is Voter ID Van Hollen’s October Surprise?

GOP Attorney General's Appeal to Conservative State Court Majority to Enact Anti-Democratic Voter ID Law on Eve of Election Raises Questions That Must Be Answered

MADISON, Wis. — Continuing a pattern of using his state office to attempt to disenfranchise legal voters, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has filed a formal request for the state Supreme Court to overturn lower courts rulings that the state voter ID law is unconstitutional. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said the latest actions by the Republican Attorney General raise disturbing questions that must be answered.

Ross commented, “J.B. Van Hollen has been chasing phantom voter fraud for years, proving that he is either lying or incompetent. Now he’s formally asked the conservative majority on the state Supreme Court to circumvent the normal appeals process in order to enact a law potentially disenfranchising over 300,000 legal voters on the eve of the November election. His latest actions raise serious, and disturbing, questions.”

As state chair of the McCain for President campaign in 2008 and in consultation with the state Republican Party, Van Hollen used the Attorney General’s office to file a lawsuit in an unsuccessful effort to purge state voter rolls. In addition, it was recently revealed that the Republican National Committee was bankrolling the attempts of lawmakers, including top Assembly Republican Rep. Robin Vos, to intervene in litigation over the voter ID law, in possible violation of state ethics laws.

Ross said Van Hollen’s court filing raises questions to which the public deserves answers including:

  • Why did Van Hollen wait until now to renew his request for a state Supreme Court decision on the voter ID law and why was it done at a Romney-Ryan campaign rally?
  • Is this filing timed to trigger a decision close to the election and limit the ability of people to get IDs?
  • Has Van Hollen communicated with conservative justices and have they indicated they are willing to reverse their previous position and circumvent the appeals process to rule on voter ID in advance of the November elections?
  • Is Van Hollen working in coordination with or consulting with the state or national Republican Party, the Romney-Ryan campaign or other conservative leaning independent organizations?

“Where there’s smoke there’s fire. And with J.B. Van Hollen’s anti-voter rights records, the support of the national Republican Party and a conservative majority on the state Supreme Court with a history of doing the political thing instead of the right thing it looks like the voters of Wisconsin are being set up to get burned in November.”

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