Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Waukesha Clerk and Wisconsin DOJ try to defend voter ID. And FAIL

In the ongoing Federal court trial challenging the legality of Wisconsin's voter ID law, several statistics have been brought up by the challengers to the law pointing out that it affects certain groups over others. Here's an example from one of those organizations suing, the One Wisconsin Institute.
Kristina Boardman, Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles Administrator, testified that based on their own statistics from mid-September 2014 through mid-May 2016, of those applying for a free voter ID over fifty percent have gone to African Americans and Hispanics. In addition, one in five of those applying through the ID petition process (IDPP) have not yet been approved for the ID they now need to cast a ballot.
Given that just over 13% of the state's population is African American or Hispanic, that's means those individuals are 4 times more likely to need a voter ID. Similar proof of disparate outcomes of laws is what led to decisions like Brown v. Board of Education , which ended many Jim Crow laws in the 1950s and 1960s.

The trial doesn't just deal with laws on the ability to cast a ballot, but also is debating whether the state's imposition of uniform hours for early voting in all communities was OK. Those changes had the effect of lowering the availability of early voting in big cities like Milwaukee and Madison, and to try to argue that the new early voting hours were OK, the Wisconsin Department of Justice called Waukesha County Clerk Kathleen Novack to the stand yesterday to describe how much better voting runs in the 262, and that it should be a model for the rest of the state.
Novack said she believes eliminating weekend voting "level(s) the playing field" between large urban areas and smaller suburban and rural communities that lack the resources to staff weekend hours.

"If there’s an office open 30 days versus an office that’s only open 10 work days, there are obviously voters that have a lot more access than someone else," Novack said. "There has to come a point where it’s just giving over-access … to particular parts of the state."

Asked whether she thought voters in Milwaukee and Madison — communities that previously used weekend voting — had too much access, Novack said, "too much access to the voters as far as opportunities."
So much foolishness in that statement. Here's a mere 3 ways that it senseless testimony.

1. What wasn't mentioned by Waukesha Clerk Nov-hack is that each community only gets ONE place to have early voting- usually the city clerk's office. In Waukesha County, the largest city is Waukesha, population 71,489, and most communities in WOW World are quite a bit smaller than that. By comparison, the City of Madison has nearly 250,000 people and the City of Milwaukee has nearly 600,000, according to the latest Census figures. On a pure per-capita basis, Madison should have 3-4 times the amount of early voting hours that Waukesha does, and Milwaukee should have 8 1/2 times as much.

2. Milwaukee and Madison also have a more transient population than pretty much any part of Waukesha County, and has a sizable college student contingent. Both of these groups of individuals are more likely to need to register at their current address for the net election, which takes more time and requires extra forms of identification. Early voting can allow those individuals the time to get properly registered, or be able to find out what information they need to submit, and then have a better chance of getting that correct information.


Here's another bit of genius from County Clerk Nov-hack's testimony.
If long lines start to form at a polling place, Novack said, it would make more sense to add more staff and open more lines within that location rather than opening a second one.

"For instance if you’re in the grocery store and there’s a long line, they open up another line," she said.
Hey Kathy, weren't you just complaining about how cash-strapped your communities were? Well where the hell are they going to get the money to snap their fingers and add more staff to open up polling spots? Especially when cities like Milwaukee and Madison have had shared revenues slashed by WisGOP legislators (and some sellout Dem accomplices) over the last 15 years, and can't be expected to defund their other services in certain years to guarantee that they can "open more lines" on Election Day. This maybe isn't a problem in WOW World, where they have plenty more voting places per capita, and have fewer social and public safety needs to worry about, since the WOW Counties have tried their damnedest to ghetto-ize poverty out of their area through redlining and trying to disconnect themselves from Milwaukee in order to keep "those people" out of their towns (well except for the paychecks and public events they enjoy there, without paying taxes to Milwaukee when they're there. WOW Countiers don't mind that).

By the way, who had the bright idea in Attorney General (and former Waukesha County DA) Brad Schimel's office to think a good defense of the voter ID law was to say "See, it's not so difficult to vote in the WOW Counties." THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT OF THE LAWSUIT, DIPSHIT! THAT YOU WOW COUNTIERS HAVE IT EASIER THAN OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE! Voter ID laws were intentionally drawn up to make sure the people most likely to have extra barriers to voting be in big cities and on college campuses, both of which tend to vote for Democrats. It's the intentional targeting of the damage that is why similar restrictions on early voting in Ohio just got shot down this week (MAL has a good rundown of that), and it shows why Wisconsin's voter ID law is likely to be at least modified by this federal court, if not tossed entirely for its discriminatory nature.

Are people in WisGOP and especially the WOW counties in such a bubble that these people can't understand that not everyone's experience in getting identification and being able to vote comes as easy as they do? Or are WOW County elected Republicans just that dishonest and lame with their excuses for how they try to rig elections? Either answer is unacceptable, and it's why I don't spend a dime in that cultural cesspool.

1 comment:

  1. Under this clerk's logic, wouldn't it also be just as reasonable to say that the people of Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties are "over-accessed" when it comes to DMV hours? After all, the people of Sauk County only have 4 days of access per year ...