By State Representative, Leon D. Young
Although there is no evidence of any widespread voter fraud in the country, Republicans are relentless in their attempts to make this bogus assertion a real cause for concern in the minds of many Americans.
This, in turn, begs the question: Is voter fraud really threatening our Democracy?
Let’s examine the facts. Between 2000 and 2010, there were 649 million votes cast in general elections and 13 cases of in-person voter impersonation.
It’s hard to see any rampant voter deception in those numbers.
In truth, opponents of Government (i.e. – the Koch Brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council – ALEC) and are just some of the powerful groups behind the “Voter Fraud Controversy” in the United States.
They stand to lose the most money and power if Republicans lose elections.
Using the Trojan Horse of “election reform,” Republicans are trying to disenfranchise countless low-income families, students, seniors and “minorities” from voting. Moreover, their voter suppression tactics have evolved over time.
At the turn of the 20th Century, most southern states enforced a poll tax to prevent poor people, specifically black people, from voter registration and voting.
Today, these crude attempts have been replaced with more sophisticated voter suppression tools: Voter ID laws, voter intimidating billboards, curtailing same-day voter registration, purging voter rolls and truncating the early voting period.
Wisconsin is no stranger to this type of voter suppression slight-of-hand.
This week, in the closing days of this session, the Senate debated a measure (Senate Bill 324) that would limit the time in which in-person applications to vote using absentee ballots could be received.
Under this draconian measure, in-person absentee ballot applications would only be received Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., and would limit a municipality to 45 hours of in person absentee voting per week.
The bill would also prohibit in-person absentee voting on legal holidays, evenings and weekends.
In the final analysis, the real threat to our system of Democracy isn’t voter fraud, but rather “election manipulation” by the GOP.
Don’t be intimidated, cast your vote!