by Clyde Weiss | April 10, 2014
Madison, Wis. – In an effort to make it difficult for voters to cast ballots against him, Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that restricts early voting.
The new law will make it harder for people who want to vote early and in person. Opponents say it is Governor Walker’s attempt to limit turnout in the heavily Democratic cities of Milwaukee and Madison, where voters were permitted extended hours during the 2012 Presidential election.
Low-income voters (especially those who work two shifts, lack transportation or child care) often find it difficult to work their schedules around traditional voting times. Now, such voters will have to cast their ballots no later than 7 p.m. on weekdays in the two weeks prior to an election. Making it even more difficult, early voting is no longer legal on weekends.
Walker, who repealed collective bargaining rights for public service workers in 2011, may want to tamp down the Democratic vote that could end his Presidential hopes, but he’s not shy about courting favor with rich corporate and other lobbyists. While limiting voting hours for those most likely to oppose him, he privately signed a bill that expanded by seven weeks the time friendly lobbyists may start making campaign donations.
Walker has become a skilled practitioner in the art of undermining democracy. Showing him the way out of Madison in the 2014 election is a top priority for labor, progressives – and all of those in Wisconsin who believe in fair play.