Assembly Republicans Unleash All-out Assault on Wisconsin Voting Rights; Reject Redistricting Reform

vote-suppression-150x149MADISON- During a marathon floor session marking the final meeting of the Wisconsin Assembly before the election year, Republicans legislators again ignored their campaign promises to focus on jobs and the economy, instead working through the night to pass a litany of extreme voter suppression laws. Among the bills passed by the Republican dominated State Assembly were an attempt to skirt a court order and implement Wisconsin’s unconstitutional voter ID law, new limits on in-person absentee voting, and drastic changes to Wisconsin’s recall law that would make recall of elected officials impossible in most circumstances.

“Republicans have unleashed an all-out assault on the constitutionally protected right to vote in Wisconsin ahead of the elections,” said United Wisconsin Executive Director Lisa Subeck. “Instead of working to move our economy forward, the Republican majority in the State Assembly used the final hours of its legislative session to make drastic changes to voting laws in a nakedly political maneuver to stack the deck for their own partisan gain.”

Although the Wisconsin State Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to vote, Republicans in the State Legislature have proposed bill after bill aimed at making it more difficult to exercise that right. New barriers to voting would disproportionately impact low-income, minority, student, and senior voters, whom Republicans believe are less likely to favor their own candidates. Additionally, a state court has already blocked implementation of Wisconsin voter ID law on constitutional grounds, and arguments have just begun in a federal trial this week on grounds that the law violates the federal Voting Rights Act.

It is estimated that over 300,000 eligible voters in Wisconsin would be adversely affected by voter ID requirements.

The new restrictions placed on the hours local municipal clerks may remain open for in-person absentee voting comes at a time of increasing popularity for the practice among Wisconsin voters. In the election, more than 500,000 Wisconsin voters cast an in-person absentee ballot, according to the Government Accountability Board.

Finally, Republicans in the Assembly blocked a vote on Assembly Bill 185, a bill that would remove partisanship from the drawing of electoral boundaries and placing the responsibility for redistricting with the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau.

“Faced with significant statewide electoral losses, Assembly Republicans are now working to game the system by disenfranchising those voters they see as least likely to support their own candidates,” Subeck concluded. “With these bills, tens of thousands of Wisconsin voters – particularly low-income, minority, senior citizen, and student voters – would face new barriers to exercising their fundamental right to vote.”

United Wisconsin is an independent grassroots organization of citizens restoring the Wisconsin tradition of democracy in action. For more information, visit our website at www.unitedwisconsin.com.


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Statement on passage of AB-493 by the Committee on Campaigns and Elections

voter-supression-300x235MADISON – United Wisconsin Executive Director Lisa Subeck released the following statement on today’s passage of Assembly Bill 493 (AB 493) by the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections. The bill now heads to the State Assembly.

“Wisconsin’s Voter ID law is nothing more than a politically motivated attack by Republicans on our voting rights, and AB 493 marks the GOP’s latest attempt to circumvent a court order barring its enforcement. Despite narrowly carved out exemptions, AB 493 still leaves many voters – particularly low-income, minority, senior citizen, and student voters – without access to the ballot. Faced with significant statewide electoral losses in 2012, Assembly Republicans are now scrambling to game the system ahead of the 2014 elections by disenfranchising those voters they see as least likely to support their own candidates. Voting provides each of us a voice in choosing our representatives and is critical to our freedom and our democracy. The State Assembly should reject AB 493, as well as any other attempt to implement Wisconsin’s unconstitutional Voter ID law.”

United Wisconsin is an independent grassroots organization of citizens restoring the Wisconsin tradition of democracy in action. For more information, visit our website at www.unitedwisconsin.com.


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Take Action: Tell your state Assembly Representative to oppose right to work.

RTW-hurts-150x150On Tuesday, the Assembly Committee on Labor will begin hearing public testimony on right to work legislation in Wisconsin.

Last week, conservatives made a mockery of the democratic process in Wisconsin by shutting down the first public hearing on right to work early, denying hundreds their voice before passing the bill 17-15.

Now, the bill is heading to the state Assembly which could vote as early as this Thursday.

We know that Scott Walker and the right-wing billionaires want nothing more than to keep our voices silent. Right to work wont just hurt unions families, it will hurt all Wisconsin families by lowering wages and workplace safety standards while doing ZERO to create family-sustaining jobs all to benefit big business special interests that could care less about working Wisconsinites.

As conservatives attempt once again to muzzle democracy in Wisconsin and ram through right to work, United Wisconsin is calling on members to raise their voices and stand up for Wisconsins middle class.


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Wisconsin GOP Moves to Limit Recall Power of Wisconsin Citizens

1-year-rally-011MADISON – United Wisconsin Executive Director Lisa Subeck released the following statement in response to the introduction of Assembly Joint Resolution 25 and Senate Joint Resolution 24, a Republican-backed bill calling for a constitutional amendment limiting the grounds under which Wisconsin citizens can recall elected officials

“Republican legislators are introducing this politically-motivated constitutional amendment in order to shield themselves from being held accountable for their most egregious public policy overreaches

“The right to recall is enshrined in our state constitution as the only mechanism that allows Wisconsin citizens to take immediate direct action against elected officials who violate the public trust through either legislative or criminal action.

“The recall process is vital to ensuring legislators adequately represent the best interests of Wisconsin citizens. Absent a statewide ballot initiative process, such as a ‘Peoples’ Veto,’ to demand direct repeal of laws that violate the public’s interest, Wisconsin’s recall process is essential to the preservation of our democracy.

“Coupled with an unfair and likely illegal redistricting process, attempts to eliminate same-day registration and limit absentee voting, and passage of an unconstitutional voter ID law, this is the latest attack by Republicans on the core principles of our democracy.  Limiting the right to recall elected officials is a clear case of legislators working to protect their own interests and putting themselves ahead of the people of Wisconsin.”

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United Wisconsin is an independent, grassroots organization of citizens restoring the Wisconsin tradition of democracy in action. For more information, visit our website at www.unitedwisconsin.com.


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Voters Stand Up for Democracy in Referendums Across Wisconsin

we-the-people-150x148MADISON – Referendums on the ballot in the yesterday’s spring elections gave voters the chance to be heard on key issues like the preservation of same-day voter registration and the corrosive effects of big money in politics.

Voters in Dane County and the City of Milwaukee voted overwhelmingly to preserve same-day voter registration, sending a clear message that voting rights in Wisconsin need to be protected.

In Chippewa County and the cities of Fort Atkinson of Whitewater, voters spoke out against big money in elections by passing advisory referendums calling for a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood and reverse Citizens United. All three advisory referendums passed by wide margins.

Commenting on these victories, United Wisconsin Executive Director Lisa Subeck made the following statements:

“The overwhelming support for preserving same-day voter registration reaffirms that Wisconsinites do not want their voting rights restricted. Voting is a fundamental right, and any attempts by elected officials to limit access to voting will be met with vocal opposition.”

“Chippewa County and the cities of Fort Atkinson and Whitewater are the latest communities to go on the record and take a stand against the hijacking of our elections by big money special interests. United Wisconsin and our allies will continue working with residents in communities across the state until Wisconsin joins the growing list of states calling for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and allow the voice of the people to rise above the influence of big spending special interests.”

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United Wisconsin is an independent, grassroots organization of citizens restoring the Wisconsin tradition of democracy in action. For more information, visit our website at www.unitedwisconsin.com.


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United Wisconsin Lauds Decision to Halt Implementation of Unconstitutional Voter ID Law

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1-300x225Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects hearing on Walker administration’s voter suppression law before November election

MADISON- United Wisconsin Executive Director Lisa Subeck made the following statement in response to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision not to take up Wisconsin’s voter ID law, thus continuing a lower court’s stay of its implementation, before the November election:

“Wisconsin voters are breathing a sigh of relief today, with the knowledge that their right to vote on the future of our state and our nation will not be suppressed by an unconstitutional voter ID law promoted by Governor Scott Walker and his Republican cronies in the legislature. In a blatantly political move, Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen tried desperately to bypass the Court of Appeals and force the Wisconsin Supreme Court to implement the law – already found unconstitutional by two Wisconsin judges before the presidential election. This voter ID law, considered one of the strictest in the nation, is the centerpiece of the Walker administration’s war on voting, and aims to stifle the voice of senior citizens, low-income and minority voters, and students at the ballot box. With just 39 days until the election, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has put the rule of law ahead of the Walker administration’s political gamesmanship. While this fight is far from over, yesterday’s decision ensures that, at least for now, the fundamental right to vote in Wisconsin will not be infringed upon by an unfair and unconstitutional voter ID law.”

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United Wisconsin is an independent, grassroots organization of citizens restoring the Wisconsin tradition of democracy in action. For more information, visit our website at www.unitedwisconsin.com.


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