Wisconsin: Voter Suppression by Germ Warfare

Wisconsin: Voter Suppression by Germ Warfare

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order went into effect on March 25th, and the governor tried to delay in-person voting until June, but the state’s Republican-majority legislature, in a session attended by only 2 members, convened for 17 seconds to force voting in person on April 7th, pandemic be damned. The Republican-dominated State Supreme Court voted to overturn the governor’s delay order, and a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision backed that up.

Thus, on April 7th, the GOP compelled a death march of Wisconsin voters to polling places in the middle of the US coronavirus outbreak. Poll workers, largely elderly and at risk of COVID-19, stayed away, reducing the number of polling places and causing hours-long lines of masked voters in the few that were open. Many voters who requested absentee ballots did not receive them before election day.

Why this unseemly, unhealthy haste? It is a truth universally acknowledged that Republicans must be in want of low voter turnout to continue their gerrymandered stranglehold on the Nation’s body politic. If a pandemic can help them, they’re okay with that. Wisconsin votes will be tallied today, April 13th. Perhaps “I Voted” stickers will get civic-minded victims priority in the state’s ICUs.

Due to the pandemic, many states are transitioning to vote-by-mail systems. Republicans are against it, including President Trump, who recently voted by mail.

More:

“Wisconsin: the state where American democracy went to die,” Sam Levine, The Guardian

“The Wisconsin GOP Is Risking Voters’ Lives to Protect Its Minority Rule,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

“Wisconsin tracking potential spread of coronavirus from Tuesday’s election,” J. Edward Moreno, The Hill

“Wisconsin health officials step up efforts to track coronavirus exposure from primary election,” Quint Forgey, Politico

“Gerrymandering Meets the Coronavirus in Wisconsin,” Michael Li, Brennan Center

“How Wisconsin’s election disenfranchised voters,” Vox

Related:

“Trump says Republicans would ‘never’ be elected again if it was easier to vote,” Sam Levine, The Guardian

“Trump Wants 50 Wisconsins on Election Day,” Jamelle Bouie, New York Times

“Republicans Could Use the Coronavirus to Suppress Votes Across the Country. This Week We Got a Preview,” Carol Anderson, Time

Update:

“Thousands of Wisconsin ballots could be thrown out because they don’t have a postmark,” Ian Millhiser, Vox

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Short Link:  https://wp.me/p6sb6-uLX

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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