MADISON, Wis. — In federal court yesterday in One Wisconsin Institute et. al. v. Gerald Nichol et. al., the plaintiffs offered testimony from a former high level Republican staffer who revealed that Republican state senators were “giddy” at the prospect of passing a voter ID law they believed would give them an electoral advantage by suppressing votes in urban areas and on college campuses.
“The motivations of Republicans behind the voter ID law were laid bare in court yesterday. Voter ID and the rest of the election law changes perpetrated on voters by Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP were about giving themselves an unfair advantage by suppressing the votes of groups like minorities,” commented One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross.
Plaintiffs are arguing that the challenged voting restrictions adopted by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican controlled legislature were meant to and have the effect of making it more difficult to vote in Wisconsin, especially for minorities, young people, and voters who tend to support Democratic candidates. The testimony offered Monday made it clear that this was the case.
In addition to the testimony of a former insider on motivations behind the voter ID law, City of Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht testified on the impacts of the the requirement and other voting law changes on Milwaukee voters, especially minorities and low income residents. He noted a significant rise in the percentage by which voter turnout percentages in the City of Milwaukee trailed the rest of the state from elections in Spring 2008 to Spring 2016, jumping from less than two percent to nearly ten percent.