Next Up: Poll Taxes

A reader from Wisconsin sent me this Adam Serwer piece:

From the look of it, there is simply no time to lose in Wisconsin to pass the most draconian and disenfranchising voter-identification law in the country (it surpasses even an extremely controversial Indiana law that requires voters to present government-issued photo ID). The new Republican governor in what’s now an all-red state — all three branches of the government are, after the last election, controlled by Republicans — wants immediate action so the voter-ID law can be in place before the April 5 election for the state Supreme Court. Another, related bill would write the voter-ID law into the state constitution.

Former President Bush pursued this voter fraud crisis. So what did his DOJ find?

an intensive five-year investigation by the Department of Justice under George W. Bush famously netted only 86 voter-fraud convictions. Most of these were for offenses like vote-buying schemes or ineligible voters registering to vote — not for voter fraud that could have been prevented by a voter-ID law.

And here’s the U.S. Supreme Court (pdf), when Indiana’s voter ID law came up for review:

Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita has conceded the state has never presented a case of “voter impersonation,” which the law was designed to safeguard against.

Never. Not once. That’s how widespread voter impersonation fraud is: the Indiana Secretary of State couldn’t present a single case. Yet, Indiana insisted they needed a voter ID law, and now Wisconsin does too.

Kevin Kennedy, director of the state Government Accountability Board, said about 20 people were charged with voter fraud after the 2008 election. Most of them were instances of felons voting while still on state supervision.

A voter ID law does absolutely nothing to fix the problem of 20 felons voting while still on state supervision, so why do we need this law, again?

But a photo ID requirement would boost public confidence in state elections, he said.

Oh. Public confidence. Republicans, in cooperation with Fox News, have waged a ten year effort to destroy public confidence in elections by repeatedly making completely unfounded accusations of voter fraud. Now that they’ve succeeded in that effort, they tell us they must pass laws that will disenfranchise legitimate voters to “boost confidence” in elections.

Ohio, oddly enough, had a crisis of public confidence just like this that also arose with Republican control of all statewide offices. We in Ohio managed to protect some voters by insisting on broad definitions of key terms, like “government document”. That definitional safe harbor has been used again and again and again by real live lawful voters in Ohio since Republicans pushed through Ohio’s ID law. They rely on it. It means they can vote.

However, alternate forms of ID, like a “government document”, won’t be available to Wisconsin voters, because the Wisconsin bill would allow most voters to get ballots only after presenting a Wisconsin driver’s license, Wisconsin ID card or military ID card.

They’re fine-tuning voter ID laws to more effectively disenfranchise (certain) voters, with each new law more restrictive than the last. They’re doing this without a shred of evidence of voter impersonation fraud, and the best defense they can come up with is that they seek to “boost public confidence”.






118 replies
  1. 1
    Paul in KY says:

    Republican newspeak: ‘Public confidence’ means the confidence that DFH’s and other untermenchen are being discouraged from voting.

    Repubfuhrer Von Priebus is quite happy.

  2. 2
    Violet says:

    the Wisconsin bill would allow most voters to get ballots only after presenting a Wisconsin driver’s license, Wisconsin ID card or military ID card.

    They are shooting themselves in the foot. Many seniors can’t drive and thus will not have drivers licenses. Seniors are the Republicans’ biggest voting block. What will they do if seniors are turned away at the polls because they don’t have the right ID? Will seniors really go get a Wisconsin ID card once they stop being able to drive? By that time they’re likely staying at home with little need for an ID card.

  3. 3

    You know, all this trouble started when Johnsom shoved them bills down this country’s throat. You know, them bills what let all them darkies vote whenever they wanted to. It wasn’t bad enough that decent white folk can’t no longer lawfully pertect their delicate wimmin from all them lustful negro men, now they won’t even let decent white folk pertect their delicate elections from all them dishonest, thievin’ negroes.

    Also too, all them unconstitutional Constitutional amendments after the War of Northern Aggression what freed all them slaves and made ’em all citizens like they was just as good as decent white folk, and gave ’em all the right to vote just like they was decent white folk, it was a downright travesty. But we took care of ’em until that n- lovin’ turncoat Johnson got all high and mighty and disrespected this great and exceptional country.

  4. 4
    Gravenstone says:

    Yeah, I’m so looking forward to the next four years up here with this asshole. Sadly, Walker didn’t come across as insane when he started as the Milwaukee County exec, but seems to have devolved to match the rest of the Republican party’s disintegration.

    Of course, this is all about weakening the main Democratic strongholds in Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Madison. Gotta keep the darkies and those liberal college students from upsetting the apple cart.

  5. 5
    Brachiator says:

    They’re fine-tuning voter ID laws to more effectively disenfranchise (certain) voters, with each new law more restrictive than the last. They’re doing this without a shred of evidence of voter impersonation fraud, and the best defense they can come up with is that they seek to “boost public confidence”.

    I agree that this is GOP insanity.

    However … How many people have been disenfranchised? I am not suggesting for a second that this nonsense has any validity, but I wonder what has been the effect of these laws to date.

    They are shooting themselves in the foot. Many seniors can’t drive and thus will not have drivers licenses. Seniors are the Republicans’ biggest voting block.

    This is a very good point. Also, if the GOP is so hot to require government IDs as a requirement for voting, shouldn’t absentee balloting be made illegal? How do we know who is actually casting those votes if the voters don’t appear at a polling station and present their IDs for inspection?

  6. 6
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    Ass-kicking awesome post, Kay. Thank you.

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    I love WI, but there’s some serious wacko shit going on up there. Let’s hope buyer’s remorse sets in and there’s a big backlash.

    WI used to be home to some of the most progressive stuff out there.

  8. 8
    Kay says:

    @Violet:

    It’s interesting, because that came up in the Ohio debate, and to my mind, it’s more evidence of bad faith.

    Seniors use absentee ballots more often than younger people. In fact, in Ohio (at the time, I don’t know that it’s still true) conservative voters used more absentee ballots than liberal voters. The GOP-drafted bill in Ohio imposed no new requirements for absentee ballots (it was later amended), which would, of course, be much more vulnerable to fraud. It was a bit of a “tell”.

  9. 9

    @Violet:

    I don’t know, seems like an awful lot of old people still drive. My mother drives and she’s 79; my father drove right up until he died at 91 and a half. He was a Democrat, and she still is, and if Virginia were to take away her driver’s license, and she needed a state I.D. card to vote, she’d damned sure get one. I don’t guess Republican geezers would be any less dead set on voting, either.

  10. 10
    The Dangerman says:

    How do we know who is actually casting those votes if the voters don’t appear at a polling station and present their IDs for inspection?

    Good point, but I’m reasonably confident when I signed up for an Absentee ballot in CA, I had to present ID.

    Edit: I thought the GOP was going to focus on jobs, jobs, jobs? Not voting rules, abortion rights, etc. Wassup?

  11. 11

    By the ay, how do you get something you wrote out of moderation? Every time I edit something I wrote, all of a sudden it goes into moderation, and then I never see it again. Is this happening to anybody else?

  12. 12
    Kay says:

    @Gravenstone:

    Of course, this is all about weakening the main Democratic strongholds in Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Madison. Gotta keep the darkies and those liberal college students from upsetting the apple cart

    Well, there’s hope. Ohio Democrats got better at dealing with the new requirements. I think the state voter protection effort (volunteer) is really first rate, but it takes a little while to get people educated on any new law.

    Find you some volunteer lawyers, and get cracking:)

  13. 13
    Gravenstone says:

    @BGinCHI:

    WI used to be home to some of the most progressive stuff out there.

    Wisconsin had honest to gods SociaIists in several government positions, including a couple Milwaukee mayors back in the day. Somewhere, the crazy took over and now large swathes of the state are blood red and would make any tea bagger (or white supremacist) feel right at home.

  14. 14
    Paul in KY says:

    If you are a wannabe political boss & you have x number of people who have sworn they will vote in the way you desire, having absentee ballots (that you get to inspect) ensures your diktats will be carried out.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Ash Can says:

    Besides the seniors, I’m wondering how many low-info GOP-voting rural rubes are going to be turned away at the polls — for a presidential election, mind you — because of this law. I’m with Violet; I think we’ll be seeing a lot of WI state Republicans crawling around looking for their toes a couple of years out.

  17. 17

    @BGinCHI:

    Yes, what’s the deal with Wisconsin? They elected Fighting Bob LaFollette for 30 years or something, and then his son Junior after that, and they elect Feingold, too, but then they turn right around and vote in somebody like Joseph McCarthy and this clown, too. What the hell is that all about?

  18. 18
    Zam says:

    Public confidence is fine in this state, other that the crazy teabaggers who think everything is a conspiracy. I worked on the election in 2010 here, and not once did I ever hear worries of voter fraud. Some reports of intimidation, but never fraud. What I did here was a lot of people confused on what was needed to vote, they believed they needed multiple forms of ID and proof of residency. They often said it was too difficult to bother with. That was when voting was simple, I was able to explain to these people that it was much easier than they thought. If the republicans succeed in making it more difficult I don’t doubt that some of them will not vote in future elections.

  19. 19
    Turgid Jacobian says:

    So sickening.

  20. 20
    Cacti says:

    For being so opposed to “big government” Republicans sure are fond of writing “papers please” laws.

  21. 21
    General Stuck says:

    It needs to be said again, though some don’t agree, that what the GOP and it’s activist right wing especially, are conducting is nothing less than a seditious civil war that is mostly legal, or at the fringes of legality, but a cold civil war nonetheless. You saw with abuse of senate rules the past two years, and the more openly quasi violent tea party and their acolytes taking to the streets, and dropping loaded guns on the floor of town hall dem pol events, whilst screaming nonsensical revolutionary blather about watering trees of liberty with blood of tyrants.

    Most of it to stop the march of democracy in this country, and demographic writings on the wall, in various hues stating the fact that white folk gonna have to share power via the holy grail of the ballot box. They don’t like that much in the white bread heartland, so we get elected even more wingnutty wingnuts willing to sabotage the machinery of our democracy. And making it harder for dems with funny foreign accents to vote is an obvious target. They will keep at it, relentlessly, from every direction, and like the anti abortion folks, will test every court they can, till they find those that are sympathetic. And when all else fails, and likely it will, then other solutions to the right wings pol problem will likely get serious consideration.

  22. 22
    Ash Can says:

    ETA (although I can’t actually edit on this computer): Although I suppose those numbers will be kept down by the number of said rubes who actually own drivers’ licenses, seeing as that would be a must for rural living. Dumb point, Can.

  23. 23
    The Dangerman says:

    @Ash Can:

    I’m wondering how many low-info GOP-voting rural rubes are going to be turned away at the polls…

    My guess? None. It’ll be selective enforcement based on … well, you know.

    Back in the days of Operation Rescue and protecting abortion clinics, I had a friend that swore that the OR folks would stop the white women, but be off for coffee and/or donuts when minority women came around.

  24. 24
    Zam says:

    I’d also like to add that this is likely just a way to drive down student turnout. If they go by your license there may be issues with addresses for people voting where they go to college. Since voting is on a fucking tuesday for some reason students can’t just drive 4 fucking hours back to their hometown to vote in their place of permanent residence.

  25. 25
    BGinCHI says:

    @The Dangerman: This is why I think the public will get tired of this really fast. Dicking around with this useless shit while manufacturing contracts dry up (loss of that fed rail project money) and the gov’t is no help with the economy and working people.

  26. 26
    BGinCHI says:

    @Cacti: Yeah, I sure would like to hear the libertarian voices on this.

    Isn’t this a concern for them?

  27. 27

    @Paul in KY:

    Huh. Weird. And I even shortened it some a few days ago. Now it’s shorter still. Maybe that’ll make it happy.

    And here’s a good quote from Dave Barry:

    “That’s the strange thing about Wisconsin: you think of it as being this nice friendly state full of decent, God-fearing, cow-oriented people, and here they elect this vicious alcoholic psychopathic lunatic.”

  28. 28
    Loneoak says:

    I don’t really care if the only people disenfranchised are teatards on Medicare funded scooters, disenfranchisement is immoral and unAmerican.

  29. 29
    kay says:

    @Ash Can:

    Besides the seniors, I’m wondering how many low-info GOP-voting rural rubes are going to be turned away at the polls—for a presidential election, mind you—because of this law.

    I was a poll worker when Ohio’s went in, and I live in a rural conservative area. I had to send my neighbor across the street home for ID, a Republican, and she still won’t speak to me. Really. Like it’s my fault her state GOP put the law in.

    What worries me, and what I think you and Violet are missing, is they have data from Ohio and (especially) Indiana (more restrictive than Ohio, but less restrictive that Wisconsin’s bill) That’s what they’re looking at.

  30. 30
    Violet says:

    @Ash Can:
    It’ll be interesting to see what happens if Republicans start getting turned away at the polls because they don’t have the right ID. An expired DL or no ID and a white senior citizen or younger “I want my country back” type gets turned away at the polls. That would be kind amusing in a sad way.

  31. 31
    BGinCHI says:

    @Loneoak:

    I don’t really care if the only people disenfranchised are teatards on Medicare funded scooters, disenfranchisement is immoral and unAmerican a proud Southern tradition (including IN).

    Fixed that for ya.

  32. 32
    The Dangerman says:

    @BGinCHI:

    …the gov’t is no help with the economy and working people.

    Feature, not a bug. The Right wants the economy to be the shits in 2012.

  33. 33
    BGinCHI says:

    @Violet: Dems will blame the system that got put in place. GOPs will blame the poll workers.

  34. 34
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    (I just submitted this same post and it vanished. So if it magically reappears and this is a dupe, forgive me.)

    When it comes to the biggest nests of voting fraud in this country, two words for you:

    Nursing homes.

    Find out who the bagmen are for those big batches of absentee votes which, in the vast majority of cases, are filled out for someone by someone else, and you’ll see all the election fraud convictions that aren’t happening now.

  35. 35
    BGinCHI says:

    @The Dangerman: Agreed. Now, let’s see if anyone notices. The phrase “paying a political price” is the key. Wish I could get a nickle every time that’s relevant.

  36. 36
    John Cole says:

    Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita has conceded the state has never presented a case of “voter impersonation,”

    This just proves how good they are at this kind of voter fraud. We can’t even catch one of them.

    /wingnut

    Also, anyone who moves is a VC…

  37. 37
    BGinCHI says:

    @Evolved Deep Southerner: That’s how they worked it in “Chinatown,” though in a slightly different context.

  38. 38
    D-Chance. says:

    Oh. Public confidence. Republicans, in cooperation with Fox News, have waged a ten year effort to destroy public confidence in elections by repeatedly making completely unfounded accusations of voter fraud.

    As opposed to Democratics, in cooperation with MSNBC, who continue to make unfounded accusations of fraud in two presidential elections (2000 and 2004)?

    I guess confidence rises when your boy wins…

  39. 39
    Zam says:

    @Violet: When that happens they will prosecute some dems for denier voters their constitutional right.

  40. 40
    gbear says:

    Isn’t the guy who hatched WI’s plan for voter disenfranchisement the same guy that just took over Micheal Steele’s position with the RNC?

    I think all the students at UW-M should go throw up on the capitol steps in protest.

  41. 41
    kay says:

    @Evolved Deep Southerner:

    That’s a real dilemma, but I don’t think any state legislator is ever going to address it. It’s impossible to talk about. Here, they send two poll workers, a Republican and a Democrat,to the (two) nursing homes, so there’s no coercion, but coercion wasn’t the problem. Explaining why we were in the room at all was the problem. Honestly, some of those voters had no idea what was going on. But, “knowing what’s going on” isn’t a requirement for voting, as we well know, so we did the best we could.

  42. 42
    MonkeyBoy says:

    WTF? Wisconsin is 90% white. Traditionally it has been poor minorities that have been feared for their fraud potential. Then again most of their Blacks and Mexicans live in a few big cities, so maybe this is just an effort to take over those cities.

  43. 43
    Yikes says:

    @Brachiator: There is that bunch of really old nuns in Indiana who were election judges but couldn’t vote in ’08.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24.....cision_08/

  44. 44
    Paul in KY says:

    @Vescoe P. Spurnwick (formerly Milmont Glapper, Brisbane Belff, G. Nelson Buttnergle, Renfrew Squeevil, Mumphrey Oddison Yamm & Mumphrey): Wisconsin is an unusual state, that’s for sure. Rode thru it (South to North) a couple of years back. Was very, very impressed with how it looked outside the bus windows. Didn’t have alot of interaction with the natives.

    Evidently, some of them are more vicious/stupid than you would think from looking at the well kept properties (never saw one shacky looking house that sadly enough can be seen all the time down here in KY).

  45. 45
    morzer says:

    I guess the GOP are having a month where government interference is just fine – again!

  46. 46
    kay says:

    @D-Chance.:

    Democrats made accusations of voter suppression in Florida, in the 2000 election.

    Which were not unfounded.

  47. 47
    Paul in KY says:

    @Violet: Looks like Kay has good data on what happens when a God fearing merican patriotic etc.etc. Repub gets turned away.

  48. 48
    The Dangerman says:

    @D-Chance.:

    I guess confidence rises when your boy man wins…

    Fixed that for ya (wouldn’t want that latent racism to come through so clearly).

  49. 49
    BGinCHI says:

    @D-Chance.: Ooh, look, it’s kind of a troll but with no argument.

    “Yeah, we suppress voting, but you guys bitch about our smartest man ever (GWB) winning the closest election in history by gaming the FL vote.”

    Moran.

  50. 50
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    @kay: Well, you did it better than how it was done at the one 186-bed facility in my small town. There, it was just one guy, a volunteer at the home, who would go around and “help” the residents fill out their ballots. He’d read off the names and the residents, in a great number of cases, wouldn’t know one city council candidate from another, so they’d ask the volunteer “Who are you voting for?”

    Lo and behold, whoever that guy liked best ended up getting a lot of those votes. And 186 votes in a very small town is a chunk.

    Believe me, the various councilmen and well-connected candidates made SURE they were that guy’s friend.

  51. 51
    morzer says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Some trolls don’t change – if you see what I mean.

  52. 52
    TR says:

    @D-Chance.:

    That’s the weakest trolling attempt I’ve ever seen.

    Next time, just type in “DURR-HURR” and save yourself the trouble.

  53. 53
    Jim, Once says:

    @Vescoe P. Spurnwick (formerly Milmont Glapper, Brisbane Belff, G. Nelson Buttnergle, Mumphrey, Renfrew Squeevil, Mumphrey Oddison Yamm, Mumphrey O. Yamm & Mumphrey):
    Maybe the fact that you keep changing your name? I changed mine yesterday to my “Mob Generator” name, and got put into moderation for the first time ever. I could be wrong – I was wrong once.

  54. 54
    gbear says:

    @Paul in KY: The only reason that the shacks up north are ‘nicer’ than the shacks in the south is because temps don’t drop to 20 below in KY every winter.

  55. 55
    gbear says:

    deleted by gbear. FYWP

  56. 56
    Zam says:

    @gbear: Also we only drag out our “shacks” in the winter to go fishing.

  57. 57
    sherifffruitfly says:

    We white folks JUST KNOW that brown folks probably shouldn’t be voting. So it’s our divinely moral duty to throw up whatever roadblocks we can to prevent it!

    praze jeebus.

  58. 58
    Paul in KY says:

    @gbear: I’m sure that is a factor. They were also neater, no bunch of plastic busted toys & whatnot littering the yard & no rusting car hulks out back.

    I’m sure there is that up there as I just toured thru 1 strip of state, but I didn’t see any.

  59. 59
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @gbear: I remember heading up to WI for a drum corps camp in mid-October. Being from Indiana, I’m pretty familiar with cold weather. When we got to La Crosse, I forget my bottle of Snapple in the car, but when I remember I think, “No big deal, there’s barely anything in it, and besides, how cold can it get in October?” Weekend ends and I return to a sticky car with a broken glass bottle frozen to the cupholder right next to the shifter. I can vouch for eyeball freezing temperatures in the Great Somewhat North.

  60. 60
    Zam says:

    @MeDrewNotYou: I left 3 cans of beer in my trunk once. That was a very bad idea.

  61. 61
    Jim, Once says:

    @Zam:

    Ha! So true. I have a brother in So. Milwaukee who loves the state because of all the great fishing/hunting/other outdoorsy stuff. He’s not at all interested in politics, and is one of the least racist people you’ll meet. He’s told me stories about guys he works with whose attitudes toward minorities – any minority – are absolutely chilling. I live in a neighboring state, and the first time he recounted some of those conversations, I simply couldn’t believe it. I’ve since met some of his coworkers and acquaintances, and now believe him. I guess I’ve just spent too much time in Madison to recognize what goes on in the rest of the state.

  62. 62
    Zam says:

    @Jim, Once: Things don’t get too bad around here in Eau Claire, but that may just be the absolute lack of minorities.

  63. 63
    Jim, Once says:

    @MeDrewNotYou:
    Yeah…next door to LaCrosse here. It was minus 25 here yesterday, minus 45 wind chill. Counting the days ’til April. I’ve been here 65 years, and I’ll never get used to it.

  64. 64
    Jim, Once says:

    @Zam:

    Same where I’m at. That’s why I’m always shocked when I actually come up against that stuff.

  65. 65
    gbear says:

    @MeDrewNotYou: @Zam: Yea, I forgot an unopened can of coke in my car once and ended up with a slushie sprayed all over the dash and windshield. Trying to clean it up in the cold isn’t fun.

  66. 66
    Yutsano says:

    @gbear: Mmm…Coke Slushie. The hard way of making one however. :)

  67. 67
    Brachiator says:

    @Yikes:

    There is that bunch of really old nuns in Indiana who were election judges but couldn’t vote in ‘08.

    Wow. The integrity of the republic protected from a coven of radical nuns.

    The sad thing is that these people are going full speed ahead with this. Joe McCarthy would appreciate how people finally were able to let fear and paranoia loose on the land. The GOP can keep selling the Big Lie that millions of illegal aliens are voting for Democrats and get a frightened and duped public to buy off on their snake oil remedies. And they will also add, “and you better vote Republican, just to make sure.”

  68. 68
    Violet says:

    @kay: Did you say to her, “Hi, [Neighbor]. I’m so sorry but the new state law requires that I ask you for your ID and if I don’t I can be fined. I wish the state government hadn’t passed this law but they did and I’m required to follow it.” Or words to that effect? Or are you not allowed to say that sort of thing?

    I bow to your greater knowledge of the actual data of how these voting ID requirements work. I am sure Republicans wouldn’t be looking to do it if it didn’t benefit them somehow.

  69. 69
    Maude says:

    @Jim, Once:
    That happened to me a couple of days ago. And a few others, come to think ot it. We hit submit and got the not so fast message. My name was the same because I can’t do fancy spelling.

  70. 70
    Sko Hayes says:

    @Jim, Once:
    I know what you’re talking about. I moved here to western Kansas from North Carolina and was horrified at all the “whiteness” out here. Now we have a growing Hispanic population, and some immigrants from Somalia (most locals are terrified of them because they’re Mooslims), and we have a small but growing Asian population, and the life long residents are aghast.
    They rail against illegal immigrants, but half the farmers in the area use illegal labor, half the people in town own a junky ass house trailer they rent out for ridiculous prices without checking for papers, and many of the stores in town wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the immigrants, so I’m hip deep in Republican hypocrisy.
    But these same people will calmly state to your face that they’re not racist.

  71. 71
    Rekster says:

    The Repukes in Texas have tried this for the past 2 or 3 Legislative sessions. Now that there is an overwhelming R Majority in the Lege this is inevitable.

    Gov. Goodhair has proclaimed this as one of the most important issues for this session. This is after he bashed the Federal Government repeatedly during his inauguration this past week.

    Can hardly wait for this to pass.

  72. 72
    shortstop says:

    Pretty sure D-Chance is a parody. If not, I’m still giving him points for the clever use of “Democratics.” But I just had some chocolate, and it’s prolly the endorphins talking.

  73. 73
    DS says:

    Why is requiring ID a form of voter suppression? I’m from Canada and here everyone is registered to vote automatically; I don’t even understand the concept that you have in the US of requiring people to register in order to exercise their democratic rights. Anyway, during an election you receive a card from Elections Canada which states your name, address and closest polling station in your riding. You have to bring that card with you as well as a form of official ID (drivers license, health card, etc.) when you want to vote. Or, a bill of some kind with your current address and a piece of ID. Can someone explain to me why requiring state-issued ID is a form of voter suppression because I just can’t wrap my head around the concept.

  74. 74
    goblue72 says:

    Pick your average white person over 40 or so out of a crowd and better than even odds you’ll find yourself with someone with racist attitudes. Now, you might have to pick through the surface for a few minutes to get them talking, and their brand of racism might involve “illegals” instead of “darkies”, but its all the same thing. And talk to them long enough and you might even get a free “ching chong” joke thrown in to boot.

    There’s a reason I fled Pennsyltucky for the inner Bay Area as soon as I could. Over-concentrations of white people creep me out. And I’m whiter than Wonder Bread with mayonnaise.

  75. 75
    suzanne says:

    @gbear:

    Yea, I forgot an unopened can of coke in my car once and ended up with a slushie sprayed all over the dash and windshield. Trying to clean it up in the cold isn’t fun.

    Heh. I left a can of Coke unopened in my cupholder once. When I came back, the entire top of the can had peeled away, the can was empty, and there was splatter all over the ceiling.

    But that’s what happens to Coke in 120 degrees. :)

  76. 76
    Greenhouse Guy says:

    @Jim, Once: Jim, I’m in La Crosse. I’ve lived and traveled all around this area and not until a recent temp job have I encountered such unabashed racism with local coworkers. I let em have it and was shunned away for being a… caring member of the human race. Fuck them.

  77. 77
    Yutsano says:

    @DS: History. Putting up barriers for minorities to suppress their voting rights is a long-standing American tradition. And the conservative side has ALWAYS sought a way to narrow the electorate to their advantage as much as possible. Because of this, anything that could produce a big stumbling block to as many American citizens as possible from voting gets progressives riled up.

    And we don’t really have an equivalent to Elections Canada down here. Voting rights and laws vary by the different states, and we do have voter registration cards. But it’s not the same as the ID you’re describing.

  78. 78
    suzanne says:

    @DS:

    Can someone explain to me why requiring state-issued ID is a form of voter suppression because I just can’t wrap my head around the concept.

    It’s also because, to get a government-issued ID at all, you have to go to the DMV, which typically means at least a 2-hour wait time in addition to time off work (because they aren’t open evenings or weekends in most places), and costs money. So if you’re poor or working-class, it can be a huge problem to arrange transportation, lose wages, and waste time, and that means that many people go without having one. And Republicans typically aren’t poor people.

  79. 79
    PTirebiter says:

    Perhaps a chain email suggesting it’s an Obama plot to capture all white folks home addresses to expedite their transfer to reeducation camps would help.

  80. 80
    aimai says:

    @Violet:

    But that’s good to–even the hint that “the right kind of people” are being turned away from the polls by the leftists/liberals is going to play well in their propaganda.

    aimai

  81. 81
    junebug says:

    @Rekster:

    While true, I think if Dan Patrick & Co. get that passed, it will definitely get a court challenge, especially if they try to pass the flawed law Betty Brown put together. And Dewhurst & Co. have as little evidence of voter fraud as the guy Kay pointed to in Ohio.

    But it’s a much more pressing issue for Republicans here in Texas since we are now a minority majority state.

  82. 82
    Brachiator says:

    @suzanne:

    So if you’re poor or working-class, it can be a huge problem to arrange transportation, lose wages, and waste time, and that means that many people go without having one. And Republicans typically aren’t poor people.

    Actually, it’s more that the Republicans don’t care about burning some of their own. As another poster noted earlier, this could impact seniors who have given up their license. And there are poor Republicans (including those grinding themselves under, believing that some undeserving illegal immigrant has stolen his birthright).

  83. 83
    Punchy says:

    Pissconsin. Wiscantwin. Wisc*ntsin. Dumb fucking losers.

    /Illinois resident

  84. 84
    DS says:

    @Yutsano: So why is there no national body for federal elections in the United States? Surely the constitution would allow this, or is it because Presidential elections are determined by an electoral college and thus technically decided by the states? Also, we don’t have “voter registration”, as you would call it; people are automatically registered to vote in Canada and, I’m fairly certain, every single other western democracy. American exceptionalism! The idea of lining up and physically registering to vote would just seem weird to most Canadians.

  85. 85
    name withheld says:

    I used to live in Duluth, MN and most of our black citizens learned rather quickly that crossing the bridge and going into Wisconsin was a great way to participate in an unwarranted traffic stop. Bonus points if you were the only minority member in the car, because you could get a no-seatbelt ticket while all the other passengers would get a warning for the same infraction.

  86. 86
    Yutsano says:

    @DS: Actually the actual administering of elections is not enumerated as a federal power in the Constitution, which then by default and the Ninth Amendment makes it a state priority. Which is why you can technically have 50 different voting standards and 50 different voter verification laws. As to why we have to register, I’m not certain, especially in light of automatic citizenship by birth. I’m sure there’s some sort of strange history behind that I’m not familiar with.

    (BTW if I’m explaining this badly y’all are more than welcome to butt in and assist.)

  87. 87
    BGinCHI says:

    @efgoldman: Maybe read up a little before shooting off like that.

    You ever heard of Robt LaFollette? I’m sure others here can add to a list, but WI has fostered a lot of progressives.

    Of course there’s McCarthy too, but midwestern states tend to be schizo like that.

  88. 88
    BGinCHI says:

    @Punchy: Good beer, good cheese, good state parks, and it’s fun to beat the Brewers.

    I’d much rather go to WI than downstate IL (most of it, anyway).

  89. 89
    junebug says:

    @Yutsano:
    I don’t know this for certain, but I would guess that registration is for the purpose of making sure people vote in the proper precinct.

    Also, in some states you have to register for a particular party. In Texas, you don’t have to do that, but when you vote in the primaries, they stamp your voter’s registration card for the party whose primary you voted in. They way, if there is some sort of runoff in a primary, people who didn’t vote in that primary election initially can’t vote in the runoff.
    @DS:

    Who keeps track of who lives where? Is it a federal apparatus? Do people have to notify them when they move? If it’s the postal service, then i can tell you, American WOULD NOT GO FOR THAT. Big brother and all the weird ideas people have about the postal service.

  90. 90
    satby says:

    @DS:
    Oh a lot that Americans think is normal would appear very weird (and downright sick) to normal Western societies.
    American exceptionalism is very closely related to the Special Olympics kind of exceptionalism.

  91. 91
    AAA Bonds says:

    Dog whistle.

  92. 92
    Jim, Once says:

    @Sko Hayes:

    Yeah, I have two other siblings in NC, and I know just what you’re talking about there. I was surprised the first time I visited Sis in Apex, at how many Hispanics there were – almost as many as in Iowa! Maybe it’s just the company I keep here at home, but everyone I know has no problem with their presence, admire their hard work and family values and all that. ‘Course, I don’t live in western Iowa (Steve King country), where it’s another story altogether.

  93. 93
    me says:

    There’s a strong possibility that those assholes in Madison will bring back the death penalty (after over 150 years!) too.

  94. 94
    Bill Murray says:

    @Vescoe P. Spurnwick (formerly Milmont Glapper, Brisbane Belff, G. Nelson Buttnergle, Renfrew Squeevil, Mumphrey Oddison Yamm & Mumphrey):

    Wisconsin was also the home of Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer, so vicious psychopathy has some deep roots there.

    @BGinCHI: Why would Libertarians care, the law doesn’t have any tax raising implications does it?

  95. 95
    Kyle says:

    @name withheld:

    Wisconsin can go fuck itself. Particularly one small town near Fond Du Lac with a crooked speed trap run by a sneering asshole cop who interrogated me for ten minutes as to where I got the temerity to think I could drive across his state without harassment.
    Beautiful state (Door County and Madison), many nice people, but a few assholes who ruin it for the rest.

  96. 96
    Jim, Once says:

    @me:

    Whaat?! What does this mean?

  97. 97
    Ed Marshall says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Why? If it’s about the people, I can’t tell Cheesehead rednecks from Southern Illinois rednecks. The Wisconsin rednecks are more German and the Southern Illinois ones are more Scots-Irish. That’s all I can figure out.

    Of course, there are great people in both states, and there are a bunch of douchebags. I just can’t see much difference between the two states when it comes to them.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens if Republicans start getting turned away at the polls because they don’t have the right ID. An expired DL or no ID and a white senior citizen or younger “I want my country back” type gets turned away at the polls. That would be kind amusing in a sad way.

    Unfortunately, we’re at the point where a whole lot of people are more than willing to cut off their nose to spite their face, so losing their own right to vote won’t bother them as long as those people don’t get to vote, either.

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    If it’s about the people, I can’t tell Cheesehead rednecks from Southern Illinois rednecks.

    Cheesehead rednecks make better beer. And I say that as a Flatlander.

  100. 100
    BGinCHI says:

    @Bill Murray: I see what you did there.

  101. 101
    me says:

    @Jim, Once: What does it mean? Well, the Republicans in the capitol have been pushing for a while to restore the death penalty. There even was a non-binding referendum in 2004 asking whether it should happen and it passed but the Democratic governor said he would never sign a bill restoring it. Now that there are Republican majorities and governor you can guess what’s next. It’s not on the agenda yet but I expect they’ll get around to it.

  102. 102
    BGinCHI says:

    @Ed Marshall: I meant the landscape, not so much the people. Lots of good parks and cycling, and it’s pretty close.

    I do think the food/drink culture is better, though, in WI.

    I’m from rural IN, originally, so I know about the midwest. It’s pockets of great, with stretches of holy shit. I so hate to see parts of it turning into conservative shitholes.

  103. 103
    shortstop says:

    @BGinCHI: Absolutely, with the exception of the Shawnee National Forest.

  104. 104
    BGinCHI says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oh yes, yes exactly. Wish we could buy it down here, but there’s a lot of good stuff. Especially liking Founder’s from GR, MI.

  105. 105
    BGinCHI says:

    @shortstop: Can I ride a mtn bike in there?

    Oh, and Starved Rock. That’s nice.

  106. 106
    shortstop says:

    @Ed Marshall: It’s the geography. The parts of Wisconsin that escaped the glaciers aren’t flat, the state forests/parks are splendid for hiking and camping, there’s great birding–there’s just a lot to love outdoors in Wisconsin.

    ETA: Apparently BG is on the same page, except that he wears cycling shoes and I wear hiking boots.

  107. 107
    Jim, Once says:

    @me:

    Thanks for this info. Of course, the ‘assholes in Madison’ you’re referring to are outlanders themselves, parking their asses and their asshole ideas in the capitol for a few months each year, just enough time to do all kinds of damage. I didn’t know this about the push to restore the death penalty. So, so sad … they made noises about that here in Iowa a few years ago, but it subsided pretty quickly. Of course, now that we have a shiny new Repub majority and not so shiny new Repub governor (Terry “Braindead” Brandsted), who knows what they’ll bring up next? They’re already demanding a cut in state university salaries of thirty percent, and doing away with university pensions altogether.

  108. 108
    P KDZ says:

    @DS: It galls me that the address on the driver’s license will have to be the current address. Poor people, even in Madison, tend to move a lot. And college students aren’t going to update their driver’s license every time they change dorm rooms or apartments.

    Kay, thanks for the great post.

  109. 109
    General Stuck says:

    @Kyle:

    Sounds like the asshole cops in Aberdeen, OH. They were famous for the speedtrapping, though I got pulled over once there on the way to Cincy, for having a loud exhaust on my 67 Camaro. When the cop asked me the problem with all the racket, I opened the trunk to show him my exhaust system that had fallen off a few days earlier. He gave me a ‘you fucking hippies are all alike look’ and demanded I give him 50 bucks, cash only. Being a poor hippie with pony tail, I said I didn’t have that kind of cash on me. The fucker took me to jail for a strip search, for having a loud fucking car. I got to play cards with a couple of pyromaniac brothers for a few hours, and they finally let me go. People said i should have sued. I told them I had to party, with no time for shit like that.

  110. 110
    Jim, Once says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I so hate to see parts of it turning into conservative shitholes.

    I, too, love the Midwest (if not the goddamn winters), and I’m seeing vast areas turning into the aforementioned shitholes (e.g., Wisconsin, Minnesota..and Iowa).

  111. 111
    shortstop says:

    @BGinCHI: I believe you can, but the USFS sites are as bad as (most of) the NPS sites are good, so you may have to look elsewhere for confirmation.

  112. 112
    me says:

    @Jim, Once: Yeah, at least I can take a small amount of comfort that my representatives (in Madison at least, my congressman is Paul Ryan, yuck) are Democrats.

  113. 113
    Ed Marshall says:

    @shortstop:

    Southern Illinois is beautiful. I don’t want to live there because of the people, but it’s as pretty as anything in Wisconsin. There isn’t anything like the Blue Hills down there exactly but The Garden of The Gods in Southern Illinois is more impressive than anything at the Dells.

  114. 114
    shortstop says:

    @Ed Marshall: Sure, but I wouldn’t hold up the Dells as a standard for Wisconsin’s natural beauty. The uplands and their state parks, the Nicolet National Forest, the Apostle Islands, Kettle Moraine State Park, Horicon Marsh…there is really a lot of incredible stuff there, much of it within easy reach of Chicago for the weekend.

  115. 115
    Calouste says:

    @DS:

    Voting in the UK isn’t automatic, although registration is more convenient than it is in the US. Instead of having to go somewhere to register, the local council will send a registration form each year to each address. The form already lists the current information on the electoral roll, so if there are no changes you can just sign it and send it back. Still, it slightly disenfranchises people who move often (i.e. the young and the poor), as even though you can change your address during the year, the processing takes too long so you can’t vote if you move between constituences 6-8 weeks before an election.

  116. 116
    some other guy says:

    “Next Up: Poll Taxes”

    As a lowly apartment dweller, I’ve moved 4 times in as many years. If I have to pay $35 or whatever for a new license with my current address every time I move, isn’t this already a poll tax in all but name?

  117. 117
    bjkeefe says:

    Looks like my previous comment went to a spam folder. Here are the same words, without the links:

    May be too late for anyone to notice, but for the record, the piece linked to and quoted from at the beginning of this post is not an Adam Serwer piece. It was written by Tova Wang and appears on TAPPED, the American Prospect’s group blog. (Serwer used to write for TAPPED; he now has his own space on prospect.org.)

  118. 118

    @Vescoe P. Spurnwick (formerly Milmont Glapper, Brisbane Belff, G. Nelson Buttnergle, Renfrew Squeevil, Mumphrey Oddison Yamm & Mumphrey): Yep. It’s a lot like Minnesota. Predominantly Democratic with really weird vicious little pockets of Republicans (and not more than a little polite down-home racism).

Comments are closed.