MADISON, Wis. — Late Thursday night the Assembly approved and sent to Gov. Scott Walker new restrictions on voting branded as “racist, hypocritical and fraudulent” by One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. In response One Wisconsin Institute is circulating an online petition, already signed by several thousand citizens, urging Gov. Walker to veto the bill and has delivered a letter to Gov. Walker urging the same.
Ross commented, “Governor Walker has a choice. He can stand up for the right to vote enshrined in the Wisconsin Constitution and veto the bill or he can allow his political ambitions to trump doing what is right by Wisconsin voters.”
Under the terms of Senate Bill 324 (SB 324), early, in-person voting before 8am or after 7pm on weekdays or for more than 45 hours per week would be prohibited in the two weeks prior to an election. Weekend in-person absentee voting would be banned.
Early voting has been an effective way to reduce congestion and delays on Election Day and help facilitate access to the franchise for seniors, persons with disabilities, minorities and working families. According to the Executive Director of the City of Milwaukee Election Commission, minority voters would suffer reduced access to the franchise.
Despite 58 Republican state legislators voting early themselves nearly 300 times in recent elections, reasonable amendments to try to prevent disparate, negative impacts on urban and minority voters were summarily rejected on a partisan basis.
“This bill is the embodiment of the real fraud in Wisconsin elections – politicians manipulating the rules on voting to give themselves an unfair partisan advantage,” said Ross. “Gov. Walker has a choice to make, and signing this bill would make him a willing accomplice to the racism, hypocrisy and fraud being committed with this legislation.”