Prosecute the torture.

April 10, 2016

The Tribune-Review Editorial Board Misleads (Again) On Voter ID (Wisconsin Edition)

Here's what the braintrust wrote:
The Brennan Center for Justice, your garden-variety “progressive” outfit, is incensed that — GASP! — enforcing Wisconsin's new photo identification law led to — OH, MY US! — longer voting lines. Holy moley, those without the proper ID were audaciously asked to register in one line, apply for proper identification in another, then — HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS! — wait in another line to cast their ballots. Said the center's Wendy Weiser: “Wisconsin's strict photo ID law does nothing but create a hassle and confusion at the polls.” Earth to Ms. Weiser — we'll bet it also made would-be fraudsters think twice. Had bona fide voters taken the responsibility to register and obtain those IDs in advance, they could have voted in a more timely fashion. [Bolding in Original.]
Let's start with the description of The Brennan Center.  Did you know that it's based at the NYU School of Law?  No?  Perhaps the braintrust should have told you that.  In any event, here's what they say about themselves:
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. The Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them — in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.
Hardly "garden-variety" of any sort.

But let's move on to the major mislead by the braintrust.  It's found in these two sentences:
[T]hose without the proper ID were audaciously asked to register in one line, apply for proper identification in another, then — HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS! — wait in another line to cast their ballots.
And:
Had bona fide voters taken the responsibility to register and obtain those IDs in advance, they could have voted in a more timely fashion.
So what did the braintrust leave out of it's criticism of those irresponsible Wisconsin voters?

Simple:
On April 5, when voters cast ballots in Wisconsin’s Republican and Democratic primaries, the state’s controversial voter ID bill will face its biggest test since Governor Scott Walker signed it into law in 2011. For the first time in a major election, citizens will be required to show approved forms of identification in order to vote. The law mandates that the state run a public-service campaign “in conjunction with the first regularly scheduled primary and election” to educate voters on what forms of ID are acceptable.

But Wisconsin has failed to appropriate funds for the public education campaign. The result is that thousands of citizens may be turned away from the polls simply because they did not understand what form of identification they needed to vote.
Here's what that section of the law actually says:
SECTION 144. 0 Nonstatutory provisions.
(1) PUBLIC INFORMATIONAL CAMPAIGN. In conjunction with the first regularly scheduled primary and election at which the voter identification requirements of this act initially apply , the government accountability board shall conduct a public informational campaign for the purpose of informing prospective voters of the voter identification requirements of this act.
And lest you think that the law had nothing whatsoever to do with politics, as part of the plan some DMV offices (where voters could get the necessary IDs) were closed while others' hours were extended.

Guess which ones?  The AP reported:
Gov. Scott Walker's administration is working on finalizing a plan to close as many as 10 offices where people can obtain driver's licenses in order to expand hours elsewhere and come into compliance with new requirements that voters show photo IDs at the polls.

One Democratic lawmaker said Friday it appeared the decisions were based on politics, with the department targeting offices for closure in Democratic areas and expanding hours for those in Republican districts.

A high-ranking DOT official rejected that claim, saying the changes were based on economics, not politics. [Emphasis added]
Sure, of course.  Why wouldn't the people of Wisconsin believe that??

Needless to say, this obviously economic, obviously non-political plan wasn't implemented.

But still the state was supposed to fund an educational campaign to inform the public which IDs to use.

But they didn't.

Voter confusion, long lines and the Trib braintrust blames the voters in those lines and not the Republican legislature who created the problem in the first place.

We'll say it again, in an effort to fix a problem (Voter Fraud, VOTER FRAUD, VOTER FRAUD!!) that simply doesn't exist the Republican legislature -- GASP! -- implement a plan  -- HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS! - designed to do little more than make it harder for people to vote for the Democrats.

Our friends on the Trib editorial board just luuuuv democracy, don't they?

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