Saturday, July 30, 2016

Voting Rights Victories In Wisconsin And Kansas

Following the news that the voter suppression law in North Carolina has been slapped down, courts in Wisconsin and Kansas have dealt serious blows to efforts by banana Republicans in those states to disenfranchise voters who normally vote Democratic.

Here's the editorial from the Kansas City Star on the immediate impact on that state:
The most crucial decision locally came in a last-minute victory for 17,500 Kansans, when Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks essentially slapped down part of an overly restrictive 2013 state voter ID law. 
The upshot: The votes of those Kansans will count in all races in Tuesday’s primaries in Johnson and Wyandotte counties, and across the Sunflower State as well. 
Hendricks’ ruling was a sharp rebuke for Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature that approved the questionable law but especially for Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has stubbornly fought to enforce it.  [snip]
Kobach had told these 17,500 people that their votes would count only in federal elections, not in crucial state and local elections, because state law required them to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote. 
They had registered to vote when they also registered their cars at motor vehicle offices. Under federal law, no proof of citizenship is required to get put on the voting rolls in that case. 
Hendricks properly brushed aside Kobach’s specious request to uphold the state law’s voter ID requirements.
In Wisconsin, where Koch brothers employee of the year and weasel/ human hybrid Gov. Scott "Koch Head" Walker and his pet Republican legislature have gone to great lengths to disenfranchise as many Democratic voters as possible, another hopeful development:
Finding that Republican lawmakers had discriminated against minorities, a federal judge Friday struck down parts of Wisconsin's voter ID law, limits on early voting and prohibitions on allowing people to vote early at multiple sites.  [snip]

Peterson also turned back other election laws Republicans have put in place in recent years. 
"The Wisconsin experience demonstrates that a preoccupation with mostly phantom election fraud leads to real incidents of disenfranchisement, which undermine rather than enhance confidence in elections, particularly in minority communities," U.S. District Judge James Peterson wrote. 
"To put it bluntly, Wisconsin's strict version of voter ID law is a cure worse than the disease."
Of course, the banana Republican Wisconsin Attorney General has vowed to appeal, and the 7th Circuit is over- loaded with Republican appointees.  One hopes that these judges will look at what's really going on here and come down on the right side of history.

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