FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Republicans Don’t Want Your Vote to Count

Wisconsin Republicans have made the news again. After losing the governor’s race (but maintaining control of the state legislature, thanks to gerrymandering), Republicans have passed a series of measures to limit the power of Democratic Governor-elect Tony Evers.

For those who have not been following Wisconsin state politics for the last decade, it’s worth a quick recap on the goings on in the Dairy State.

In 2011, Republican Governor Scott Walker and the Republican legislature gutted the power of public sector unions (including my union, the TAA, a union of graduate student workers at University of Wisconsin), resulting in the largest protests in the state since the Vietnam War.

As unions tend to support Democrats, and the union-gutting bill, Act 10, exempted the two unions that more often support Republicans (police and firefighters), the bill was clearly a partisan power grab by Republicans.

Wisconsin Republicans then passed a law requiring photo IDs for voting. I have a state-issued photo ID because I’m a student at University of Wisconsin, a state school. However, although college students are allowed to vote where they attend school, my school photo ID is not considered a valid ID for voting.

Requiring photo IDs to vote fixes a problem that does not exist. Voter fraud is incredibly rare.

What photo ID laws do very effectively is disenfranchise voters from demographics that mostly favor Democrats: the young, the poor, and people of color. That’s why my state-issued student ID wasn’t included as an acceptable form of ID under the law; college students are more likely to vote for Democrats.

Many analysts credit that law with suppressing enough votes to flip Wisconsin from blue to red in the 2016 presidential election.

Third, Wisconsin Republicans gerrymandered the districts within the state to favor their party and disadvantage Democrats.

The result of this? In the 2018 election, Republicans won just 46 percent of the vote for the U.S. House, but they won 63 percent of the seats. At the same time, although Democrats won a majority of votes for the Wisconsin state legislature, they won only 36 percent of the seats.

A majority of Wisconsinites voted for Democrats but the majority will be represented by Republicans. Their votes simply didn’t count.

However, in statewide races like the governor’s race, Republicans couldn’t fall back on gerrymandering. Republican Scott Walker lost to Democrat Tony Evers. And that explains what they’re trying to pull now.

Wisconsin Republicans in the legislature just passed measures to limit the powers of Evers before he even takes office. They’re effectively reversing the will of the voters yet again.

Why should the majority of Americans who live outside Wisconsin care? Because these types of anti-democratic hijinks could be coming soon to a state near you. Or they already are, if you live in Michigan.

This isn’t a Democratic or Republican issue. This is an issue for all Americans who love democracy. Our system has rules that I think most of us believe are fair: The politicians (and party) that can convince more citizens to vote for them get to rule. If you want power, there’s a clear path to it in this country: appeal to voters and win elections fairly.

This is how we keep our government accountable to the people. When politicians can keep their jobs by fiddling with the rules and bypassing the need to win the support of voters, we fail to have a democracy. That is what is happening in Wisconsin and — so far — it’s been working.

We must stop this power grab from taking place, to protect our democracy for all citizens of all political persuasions.

More articles by:

February 19, 2019
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Troublesome Possibilities: The Left and Tulsi Gabbard
Patrick Cockburn
She Didn’t Start the Fire: Why Attack the ISIS Bride?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Literature and Theater During War: Why Euripides Still Matters
Maximilian Werner
The Night of Terror: Wyoming Game and Fish’s Latest Attempt to Close the Book on the Mark Uptain Tragedy
Conn Hallinan
Erdogan is Destined for Another Rebuke in Turkey
Nyla Ali Khan
Politics of Jammu and Kashmir: The Only Viable Way is Forward
Mark Ashwill
On the Outside Looking In: an American in Vietnam
Joyce Nelson
Sir Richard Branson’s Venezuelan-Border PR Stunt
Ron Jacobs
Day of Remembrance and the Music of Anthony Brown        
Cesar Chelala
Women’s Critical Role in Saving the Environment
February 18, 2019
Paul Street
31 Actual National Emergencies
Robert Fisk
What Happened to the Remains of Khashoggi’s Predecessor?
David Mattson
When Grizzly Bears Go Bad: Constructions of Victimhood and Blame
Julian Vigo
USMCA’s Outsourcing of Free Speech to Big Tech
George Wuerthner
How the BLM Serves the West’s Welfare Ranchers
Christopher Fons
The Crimes of Elliot Abrams
Thomas Knapp
The First Rule of AIPAC Is: You Do Not Talk about AIPAC
Mitchel Cohen
A Tale of Two Citations: Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and Michael Harrington’s “The Other America”
Jake Johnston
Haiti and the Collapse of a Political and Economic System
Dave Lindorff
It’s Not Just Trump and the Republicans
Laura Flanders
An End to Amazon’s Two-Bit Romance. No Low-Rent Rendezvous.
Patrick Walker
Venezuelan Coup Democrats Vomit on Green New Deal
Natalie Dowzicky
The Millennial Generation Will Tear Down Trump’s Wall
Nick Licata
Of Stress and Inequality
Joseph G. Ramsey
Waking Up on President’s Day During the Reign of Donald Trump
Elliot Sperber
Greater Than Food
Weekend Edition
February 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Time for Peace in Afghanistan and an End to the Lies
Chris Floyd
Pence and the Benjamins: An Eternity of Anti-Semitism
Rob Urie
The Green New Deal, Capitalism and the State
Jim Kavanagh
The Siege of Venezuela and the Travails of Empire
Paul Street
Someone Needs to Teach These As$#oles a Lesson
Andrew Levine
World Historical Donald: Unwitting and Unwilling Author of The Green New Deal
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Third Rail-Roaded
Eric Draitser
Impacts of Exploding US Oil Production on Climate and Foreign Policy
Ron Jacobs
Maduro, Guaidó and American Exceptionalism
John Laforge
Nuclear Power Can’t Survive, Much Less Slow Climate Disruption
Joyce Nelson
Venezuela & The Mighty Wurlitzer
Jonathan Cook
In Hebron, Israel Removes the Last Restraint on Its Settlers’ Reign of Terror
Ramzy Baroud
Enough Western Meddling and Interventions: Let the Venezuelan People Decide
Robert Fantina
Congress, Israel and the Politics of “Righteous Indignation”
Dave Lindorff
Using Students, Teachers, Journalists and other Professionals as Spies Puts Everyone in Jeopardy
Kathy Kelly
What it Really Takes to Secure Peace in Afghanistan
Brian Cloughley
In Libya, “We Came, We Saw, He Died.” Now, Maduro?
Nicky Reid
The Councils Before Maduro!
Gary Leupp
“It’s All About the Benjamins, Baby”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail