This from the AFL CIO:

Voting rights are under attack in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Senate is getting ready to vote on multiple anti-democracy and voter suppression bills on Tuesday, March 11. These bills will promote ‘pay to play’ politics, deny citizens’ access to the ballot and make it more difficult for people to register to vote.

Also, up for a vote on Tuesday are changes to the Milwaukee Mental Health Complex (SB 565). This bill would remove local control over a local institution, a notion that runs afoul to fundamental democratic principles and should frighten communities across the state.

Republicans in the state legislature are trying to ram these bills through as quickly as possible in the final days of session. Contact your legislator today in opposition of these bills.

Anti-democracy bills that will expected to go to vote on Tuesday, March 11 as of March 10, 2014 include:

SB 324: Limits early voting hours allowed by municipalities and removes the option of weekend and evening voting leading up to Election Day. This would end convenient opportunities for working people, the elderly and the disabled to vote prior to Election Day.

SB 267: Places additional burdens on people who wish to register early and on the municipal clerks who register them by demanding certain documents as proof of residence and that the clerks record 2 or 4 digits of the document account number on voter registration forms. It amounts to an unnecessary hurdle for both voters and clerks.

SB 655: Pay to Play Politics -- allows lobbyists to donate to politicians during election years even if session is ongoing. This allows lobbyist more time to bribe elected officials and unduly influence state policy.

AB 396: Restricts absentee voting by residents of certain adult-care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities by placing unnecessary and burdensome notice requirements prior to the absentee voting process. In addition, all voting at certain adult-care facilities must occur in the presence of 2 election officials, one from each political party. Further, if some residents in an assisted living facility vote absentee at the facility, then all residents must vote by absentee at the facility and are disallowed from voting in the clerk's office or by absentee mail ballot.

*Sen. Grothman has introduced an outrageous bill to end same day voter registration in Wisconsin! Allowing citizens to register to vote on Election Day makes our democracy strong and accessible. People who work for a living, move frequently or are voting for the first time can find it burdensome to register to vote prior to Election Day. In Wisconsin, we have a proud tradition of welcoming all citizens to participate in our democracy. Sen. Grothman’s attempt to control the electorate and limit the voting population is transparent and disgusting.

Update on Local Living Wage Preemption: This bill stalled in the state Senate last week with Sen. Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) stating it is “unlikely that it will move through the Senate.” However, Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) has said he and Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) will continue to lobby fellow legislators for support adding that, “in the Legislature you never count on something being dead until session is actually complete.”

There is still time to make your voice heard. Contact your legislator today in support of voting rights and democracy!

In Solidarity,

Phil Neuenfeldt, President

Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer


telliottmbamsc's picture
telliottmbamsc 5 years 45 weeks ago

Republicans realize their ideas won’t win votes, so they’ve decided to rig the game, change the rules and disenfranchise tens of thousands of Wisconsin voters ahead of the next election. On March 12, Republicans used their Senate majority to ram through attacks on our fundamental rights to vote as citizens. By restricting ballot access and implementing new hurdles for citizens to register to vote, Republicans are blatantly trying to limit the electorate and rig elections in a politically-motivated, power-grabbing move.

Anti-voter legislation passed with a 17-16 with Rep. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) joining Senate Democrats in the State Senate in opposition include:

SB 267: Adds new obstacles to voter registration.

SB 324: Shortens the hours and days of in-person absentee voting. This bill ends weekend early voting and limits weekday early voting to between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

SB 655: Expands the power of lobbyists to funnel campaign contributions to candidates by moving up the date lobbyists may begin making contributions from June 1 to April 15. This amounts to legalized bribery.

AB 396: Places complicated barriers for individuals in residential facilities such as nursing homes and adult-care facilities to vote absentee.

These votes come on the heels of a new announcement that Gov. Walker is plotting a special session to pass the voter-suppressing Voter ID law if the Wisconsin Supreme Court rules the current provision unconstitutional.

Gov. Walker hopes to have Voter ID in place for his re-election in November 2014. Voter ID severely impacts young people, people of color, the elderly and the disabled by placing what amounts to a poll tax on voters. People have marched and died for the right to vote. It is a tragedy that power-hungry Republicans are systematically dismantling the voting rights of Wisconsin citizens in order to reduce the number of people who could vote against them in the next election. They’re rigging the game and hoping you don’t notice.

Republicans also voted down an opportunity to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for all Wisconsin workers (SB 505). This was done in a minimum wage pulling motion, which was defeated 18-15 along party lines.

Hold your legislators accountable now and tell them how you feel about their actions on these important votes to working families. Remember in November the attacks on voting rights, worker rights, women’s rights and democracy.

In Solidarity,

Phil Neuenfeldt, President

Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer

P.S. Check out Scott Walker’s Blurred Lines parody by Alex Runner. You’re gonna love it

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