Voter Suppression: Another Reason to Dump Governor Walker

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryImagine this if you will: a former veteran who risked his life for his country but is not allowed to vote in local, state or national elections. A lady on a local town council who is unable to vote. A disabled African American who is not allowed to vote. Why are they not allowed to vote? Because they do not have “valid” birth certificates. Why are they not able to get “valid” birth certificates? Because many people born before 1948 normally did not always have carefully recorded state birth certificates. This was true in many parts of the country. Another problem is that even though all of the people I have mentioned above have valid Social Security cards, Veterans’ Administration cards, and also baptism certificates, these did not help them get “valid” state birth certificates so they could get driver’s licenses or state-issued identification cards to be able to vote.

The state in question where they are not able to vote is Wisconsin, and these three cases are just among the tens of thousands of people who have been disqualified from voting in that state under Wisconsin’s draconian voter ID law passed in May of last year. On March 12, a federal judge ruled that the Wisconsin voter ID law was unconstitutional under the federal Voter Act and Wisconsin’s own constitution. Despite this judicial ruling, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his state government have appealed the ruling and are determined to continue this unjust, unconstitutional law. This seems to be Walker’s style of governance since he came to power. Because of this and many other things, he is facing a recall vote and a whole lot of lawsuits—of which the American Civil Liberties Union law suit against this voter law is only one.

With all of this, one has to ask why Governor Walker is continuing policies that are dividing his state, making it go broke faster, and generally dividing the people against each other? How can any of this possibly benefit the state he is supposed to be governing? This is why he is facing a recall vote—many people fear he needs to be removed before he totally devastates the state for generations to come. Whatever his economic arguments are about how to best “save” the state’s finances, his political extremism is doing untold damage. Suppressing the rights of those who are exercising their most fundamental right to vote is indeed a suppression of peoples’ most basic rights under the U.S. Constitution. No one has a right to suppress this fundamental right for any argument or policy.

We know that this voter ID policy is making it harder on so many segments of Wisconsin society—from veterans to seniors to racial and ethnic minorities. With his signature on this voter restriction law, Governor Walker wiped out the voting rights of so many Americans. Even though the law has been ruled unconstitutional, Walker is still adamant that it must be allowed to stand. This alone is one good reason why Governor Walker must be voted out or impeached.

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