Since the demise of Build Back Better, our Progressive … acquaintances have moved past Doomsday for the Planet. Like weirdos on street corners, they now predict The End of Democracy As We Know It! Republicans are going to steal our elections and put Bull Connor or some other segregationist Democrat on a postage stamp if we don’t nationalize elections by passing Chuck Schumer’s Freedom to Vote Act.
On this Martin Luther King Day our favorite Madison daily newspaper screams in 72-point type on Page One:
‘Voting Rights at Risk!’
Only Democrat(ic) Gov. Tony Evers is preventing Republicans from burning down the church with little girls in it, the typically biased AP story suggests.
Jay Heck of Wisconsin Common Cause is on board. Writing in Sunday’s fish wrap, Mr. Heck damned “the Republican-run Legislature and its Ronald Reagan-wannabe Gov. Scott Walker” for “ramming through the most extreme and restrictive photo ID law in the country.” (Gosh, we miss the Gipper!) Heck hyperventilates:
“Since the voter photo ID law went into effect in 2016, thousands of Wisconsinites have been unable to vote because of difficulties obtaining one of the required forms of photo ID.”
We say, Name one!
Mr. Heck could not provide statistics but the Werkes will. Wisconsin went wild and crazy for Barack Obama in 2008 — 72.4% of age-eligible voters cast a ballot for President that year. A ticket of Trump versus Hillary tamped down excitement in 2016 but 75.5% turned out for the 2020 election — the highest turnout in at least 20 years. Voter turnout for the governor’s race in 2018 was also the highest this century, despite the Reagan wannabe’s supposed voter repression.
Another metric: Only one state exceeded Wisconsin’s voter participation in the 2020 presidential election! Our 75.5% was head and shoulders above the 66.2% of the nation as a whole.
Election Reform Theater
“I’ve been trying to imagine some kind of strategic vision behind the Biden administration’s recent decision making — the strange pivot from the stalled-out Build Back Better negotiations to election reform theatrics, in which a president with miserable approval ratings managed to advertise his own political weakness and alienate potential negotiating partners, all in the service of legislation remote from most Americans’ immediate concerns and unlikely to address the genuine problems in the system.” — Ross Douthat, New York Times.
Can’t be cost. Photo I.D.s — like butterflies — are free. Wisconsin accepts 11 different forms of I.D.s and allows no-excuse absentee voting and early voting. Republicans want to outlaw ballot harvesting by political operatives, end the “indefinitely confined” loophole, and prevent billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg from subsidizing elections. Hardly Jim Crow! (More here.)
→ It’s a balancing act. One university study places Wisconsin voting laws as the 25th most accommodating; in the middle of the pack. Equally important is the integrity of the ballot box. On that metric, Wisconsin elections are the 8th most secure.
Heck posits that Republicans want to dampen turnout because it’s the only way they can win. Another Democrat shibboleth dispelled. “It was long thought that surges in voting would help Democrats. So how does the party explain Glenn Youngkin’s victory?” New York Times reporter Reid Epstein asks. At least 25% more votes were cast than in any governor’s race in [Virginia’s] history. What’s more, voters separately elected a black Republican woman as second in command and a Latino as Republican attorney general.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Why Democrats think that black and brown voters can’t get a photo voter I.D. is … well, kind of racist.
Remember when Democrats said the Ruskies
hacked voting machines to elect Trump? (Good times.)