Thursday, May 12, 2011

Voter Suppression Passes Assembly

Very soon, it will be easier and take less time to carry a concealed handgun in Wisconsin than it will be to vote. Damn.

The State Assembly debated amendments until well after the dinner hour last night with the GOP shooting down every single amendment the minority presented. Common sense measures like having some evening and weekend hours for the DMV, allowing suspended licenses to be used as proper ID for voting, allowing students to use out state DL with corroborating in-state address documentation among others. Not crazy lefty ideas, just practical amendments.

Wanna know how poorly this bill was written? Say you are homeless...you'll need a State ID. Democrats asked what address they would use? What if you live on a park bench. GOP reply: homeless will have to get an ID with the address of the bench. Author of the bill, Rep. Stone says he doesn't actually know (or care) how they would get an ID. Right.

ID's can be free - if you prove (?) you can't pay, but will need a birth certificate to get the ID. Birth certificates cost money to obtain and some states requires ID to get a copy. In their hurry to pass this bill, no one has taken any time to figure that out. Clearly unconstitutional.

Issues of the difficulties presented by this bill are not relegated to students and the poor. Consider that:
  • 177,000 Wisconsin senior citizens have neither state IDs or driver's licenses. 
  • 26% of Wisconsin's DMV offices are open one day of the month or less.
  • Three Wisconsin counties have no DMV office at all.
  • Only one DMV office in the state has weekend hours.
  • HALF of all Wisconsin DMV offices are open on a part-time basis. 
The cost to implement this law will cost a minimum of $6 to $7 million dollars being raided from the transportation fund. Rep. Stone stated last night, "We have a system that is so open to abuse," Stone said. "We owe it to the people of the state to build a better system."

With 18 cases of voter fraud having been prosecuted from the 2008 election with MASSIVE turnout - half of which were not cases related to anything in this bill - it comes to $389,000 per abuse.

I thought we were broke.