October 14, 2014
By Senator Lena C. Taylor
This past Thursday the Supreme Court of the United States blocked the implementation of voter ID in Wisconsin. This was true victory for Wisconsin and for democracy everywhere. One that same day, in fitting fashion a federal district judge struck down Texas’ voter ID law. These laws are aimed act chipping away at the votes of students, minorities, the elderly and women. The Republican Party has launched a concerted effort for to disenfranchise the masses.
The Republican controlled Wisconsin legislature has introduced over 30 bills that chip away at the voting rights of Wisconsinites. When the federal judge blocked it he recognized that it had the potential to prevent over 300,000 Wisconsinites from voting. It’s just sad it takes people outside of Wisconsin to make sure Wisconsinites have unfretted access to the ballot box.
Strikingly, when a panel of 3 conservative judges cleared the law in the 7th Circuit court, Judge Posner issued a 30 page dissent. Judge Posner is a staunch conservative who was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981. In his dissent he stated “there is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud." Posner’s position is particularly jarring because he wrote the decision in a 2007 case, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, which up held Indiana’s voter ID law. Since that time, Posner has been able to examine to the mountain of evidence that shows that voter fraud is virtually a non-existent issue. The only reason for this type of legislation is to disenfranchise certain voters.
As the November election co approaches you must let your voice be heard and cast your ballot. This year’s General Election will take place on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. The offices that will be elected include Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Representative in Congress, State Senator (odd-numbered districts), and Representatives to the Assembly (all districts).
It vital that you vote and educate yourself on the issues, Wisconsin has a choice to remain at the bottom of education achievement for African American, highest incarceration of African American men in the world, some of the worst infant mortality rates in the country, and one of the widest racial income gaps in the country. Or we can chose new leadership; someone who has a proven job creation record, staunch public education advocate, and supporter of inclusion. This November you decide.