Voter Suppression in Wisconsin, Florida

The states of Wisconsin and Florida, in an act of clear desperation, joined the ranks of Republican-controlled state legislatures and governorships across the nation passing laws to suppress voters today.

(Reuters) - The Wisconsin state Senate on Thursday approved a Republican-backed bill that would require photo identification to vote, and Republican Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign the measure into law. [...]

Ten states now require a photo ID to vote. Kansas also added a photo ID requirement this year, which takes effect January 1. Thirty-three states have considered adding or strengthening voter identification requirements this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As reported by the Maddow Blog, the bill to require an ID for voting passed in the same fashion as the bill to kill unions, without every Democratic member of the senate having the chance to cast a vote.

Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate today cut off voting on the new voter ID bill, which requires a photo ID to cast a ballot. WisPolitics reports that only five Democrats managed to get on the roll before Republican Senator Michael Ellis gaveled it through. Let's just say Mr. Ellis will not be winning today's Mr. Sunshine award.

WI Senate Vote on Voter Suppression Bill 5.19.11 by nicknice

The Wisconsin voter ID bill now awaits Scott Walker's signature.

Meanwhile, Governor Rick Scott of Florida has already signed Florida's own voter suppression bill into law. The Florida law prevents 3rd parties from registering voters, a move obviously aimed at reducing the number of minority voters as minority voters are much more likely to be registered by 3rd parties.

Howard Simon, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, issued the following statement.

Today, with a stroke of his pen, Governor Scott has made the “Minority, Youth and Woman Voter Suppression Act of 2011,” the crown-jewel of voter suppression legislation, into law.

Florida law now forces more Floridians to cast provisional ballots which are not likely to be counted, limits the number of days Floridians have access to the polls, and has effectively shut down the volunteer voting registration work of organizations like the League of Women Voters and the Boy Scouts.

Governor Scott says he signed, to prevent fraud, which has been proven to be fictional. The Governor also claimed that he wants to make sure people have the opportunity to vote, which of course is not what this bill does. If you’re looking for fraud, look no further than the big lie on which this bill is based.

While a majority of the nation's attention is directed at the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and the filibuster-prone Republicans in the Senate, Republican controlled state legislatures and governorships are just as capable of causing serious harm to the social fabric of the nation, if not more so. In many cases, from Ohio, to Florida, and Wisconsin, legislatures and governors have clearly over-reached and over-played their hand and are now taking whatever steps they can to blunt the impact of the coming voter backlash.

Fortunately, I don't believe even the harshest voter suppression laws have the odor-blocking power to conceal the festering piles of shit currently occupying our respective state houses.

Updated to fix the video and adding...