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Voter suppression is wrong

Anita Slone



Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature went to great lengths to make voters go to the polls last week. Seventeen states had already postponed their elections and all-mail voting is done in five states, but rather than agree to a method that would maintain the integrity of the election and protect voters, the Republicans opted to force a face to face vote.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, wearing a face mask, gloves and protective gown, had the nerve to tell Wisconsin voters, “You are incredibly safe to go out.” More than 860,000 Wisconsinites didn’t believe him and voted absentee. Election personnel estimate many thousands of other electors did not want to take a chance and just stayed home. At least one voter has verified their fears and tested positive for COPVID-19. Wisconsin Republicans have severely gerrymandered the state to allow legislators to pick their voters. April 7 was their latest effort to suppress, rather than increase, the number of people voting. They were following the lead of President Trump. He said if measures to increase the number of people voting were enacted, “You’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” In this instance, Wisconsin Republicans thought a low voter turnout would help elect a conservative Supreme Court justice that, in turn, would vote to purge 209,000 people from the state’s voter rolls.

When Republicans prevented Wisconsin from postponing the election or going to a mail-in election, they did so to reduce voter turnout, protect their political power and knowingly put the electorate at great risk. Regardless of which candidates won, we all lose when there are efforts to stymie voting.