Thursday, March 13, 2014

Early Voting Bill Passes, Tom Barrett Outraged

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is outraged again.

This time, he's outraged about the bill the State Senate passed to grant equal access for early voting to all citizens in Wisconsin.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett blasted legislation approved by the state Senate Wednesday to eliminate early voting on weekends, calling in "mean-spirited," and an attempt to disenfranchise voters in heavily Democratic cities.

"This is all about suppressing the vote in Milwaukee and Madison," Barrett said at a news conference Wednesday, just hours after the Senate passed the measure on a one-vote margin. "This is about suppressing the vote for people of color, people with disabilities and for low-income people."

...Republican supporters said the measure promotes uniformity in the election process. Barrett called that "a smoke screen."

...At the Barrett news conference, [Common Council President Michael] Murphy warned Gov. Scott Walker that if he is considering running for president in 2016, the nation would be watching his actions on voter rights. And Alderman Willie Wade, who has the city's largest percentage of African-American voters, suggested Republicans embrace policies that attract those voters instead of trying to disenfranchise them.

"If the governor is going to run on a platform that disenfranchises African-American voters, good luck getting support from the African-American and Latino communities," Murphy said. "It ain't gonna happen."
OK, this crap from Barrett and his pals outrages me.

Scott Walker is not disenfranchising African-American and Latino voters.

This isn't about voter suppression, Mr. Mayor. It's about putting an end to the abuse of early voting in targeted areas like Milwaukee and Madison.

How can you claim SUPPRESSION when everyone in the state now has an equal opportunity to vote?

It's ridiculous.

And it's absolutely awful that DEMOCRATS like Barrett are charging Republicans and supporters of the bill with racism. That's disgusting. It's such a sleazy attack.

I haven't heard any DEMOCRAT present a convincing argument as to why it would be acceptable for people living in urban areas to have preferential treatment in terms of times to access early voting.

There are low-income people, people of color, and people with disabilities across Wisconsin. They don't only live and vote in Milwaukee and Madison. What about them, outraged Mr. Mayor?

There must be uniform rules for elections, no preferential treatment for certain communities.

Why should people living in Milwaukee and Madison have extended access to early voting when others don't have the same access?

Polls aren't open longer on Election Day in Milwaukee and Madison. Barrett should be demanding that, if he's to be consistent. Talk about "smoke screens."

Early voting with evening and weekend hours is fine with me, as long as those hours are the same for everyone in Wisconsin.

The inequity of the past policies needed to be addressed.

The bill is a very good thing, justice for all.