Voter Suppression

Wisconsin Republicans Really Hate High Voter Turnout


With Wisconsin’s voter ID law on hold, Republicans in the state have revealed their backup plan: volunteer fraud police.

Milwaukee County’s Republican Elections Commissioner Rick Baas warned a crowd of volunteers and supporters Friday night to be “concerned about voter fraud,” and urged the hundreds of attendees to take an “extra step of vigilance.” “You as a Wisconsin resident can challenge people who are not supposed to be voting,” he said at the Milwaukee County Republicans event. “You’ve got to do that.”

There is virtually no chance that a Republican voter in Milwaukee, or anywhere else in the state, will encounter a case of fraud. There is a slim to none chance that a Republican voter in any state in the country will encounter a legitimate case of fraud on election day or on the next five election days.

I’d call it negligent at best for an elections commissioner to fill people’s heads with the idea that they could personally put a stop to fraud or that fraud is a widespread problem.

“People who are not supposed to be voting” could be interpreted in terrible ways on an individual basis, to say the least. Given that voter ID laws across the country have been challenged on the grounds that they’re discriminatory, those people could be the people who are “not suppose to be voting.”

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Tell me, Mr. Baas, how does one identify a person “who is not supposed to be voting” by sight? Please, enlighten us.

  • Sabyen91

    Amazingly, every time there is voter fraud it turns out to be Republicans. This guy (in the link) is being charged with 13 felonies. You have to be really dumb to commit voter fraud so it isn’t surprising Republicans do it.

  • Sabyen91

    If one of these thuglets try anything with me…well, I will have some stern words for them. They won’t though; my district is conservative enough where they wouldn’t bother. Oh, and really white.

  • Christopher Foxx

    “People who are not supposed to be voting”

    I.e., Democrats.

    • drspittle

      And the blah’s

      • mdblanche

        Same thing in their minds.

  • Scopedog

    But I thought voting didn’t work–after all, that’s what Michael Moore and Russell Brand said. I mean, why have these voter ID laws then?

  • muselet

    Under state law, voters, election workers, official observers, or any member of the public can challenge the validity of someone’s vote, but to do so, they must swear under oath that they have firsthand knowledge that the person is not qualified to vote. A challenge cannot be based on a mere suspicion or hunch.

    “Providing those parameters would be important to any discussion related to voter challenges,” Milwaukee City Election Commission Director Neil Albrecht told ThinkProgress. “Failure to provide has the potential to incite unsubstantiated challenges and a disruption to voting.”

    Good Republicans “concerned about voter fraud” descend upon minority districts, looking for instances of voter fraud. These self-professed poll watchers challenge multiple voters, on specious grounds, and the voters respond by telling the Rs to pound sand. The Rs call the police, claiming they were in fear for their lives. More disruption, less voting, happy Rs.

    The Rs then write impassioned letters to the editor, claiming mobs of illegal voters attacked them on orders from the New Black Panther Party or ACORN or Obama’s Illegal-Alien Praetorian Guard or whoever the bogeyman of the week happens to be.

    R politicians then hold press conferences, solemnly declaring that some people just aren’t to be trusted with something as valuable—nay, sacred!—as the franchise and announce a new round of voter suppression … erm, voter qualifications laws.

    Am I being paranoid?


    • Nefercat

      “Am I being paranoid?”


    • trgahan

      With a 24/7 prime time propaganda machine and the rest of the media too scared to call it for what it is, I don’t think they need any of that to actually happen.

      The vailed threat here is anything less than Republican domination at the polls in November will be all the “proof” they need to just say it happened and it be treated as so in all reporting on the day after.

      • muselet

        Sure, and the obviously-ridiculous stories about voter fraud! that get serious—for want of a better word—attention from the Righty Outrage Machine and R pols prove your point.

        The difference this time, though, is the Rs have raised such a stink about all the voter fraud! going on that they’re going to feel some pressure to put up or shut up. At the very least, they have to give the Supremes some excuse to let them keep restricting voting rights.

        Besides which, there are lots of very literal-minded Rs out there who will take Rick Baas at his word and be moved to take the “extra step of vigilance.”

        Nothing good will come of this. Nothing.


  • RamOrgan

    I’m not sayin this would be a good application of “stand your ground”, I’m just sayin.