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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wisconsin Republicans Are Trying to Discourage Voters

Posted by on Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I know I should expect this, but it makes me so mad every single fucking time I hear about it:

From Eau Claire to Beloit, voters across Wisconsin are relaying stories via Twitter, Facebook and online message boards about anonymous “robocalls” from allies of Scott Walker, telling them–incorrectly–that if they signed petitions to recall Governor Walker, their vote in today’s crucial election has been recorded.

I understand that it's part of the game, and it's how elections work, but misleading voters like this should be a serious crime. If you interfere with the most basic fucking building block of democracy, the voice that every single American is guaranteed, you are un-American and you should be punished. Why is this not a bigger deal?


Comments (27) RSS

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Theodore Gorath 1
To answer your question, we abandoned the "one voice, one vote" model with Citizens United.

Since money is speech, it follows that the amount of speech you have a right to is decided not by your fundamental rights, but by your net worth. Since the Koch brothers have more money than me, they are entitled to have more say in their governance than me.

We can never have true democracy in this country until Citizens United is overturned, plain and simple.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on June 5, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
Amen. We're looking at something like 80% turnout here, which is insane. There's corruption and voter suppression going on like mad, though.

One of the groups I'm involved with has been receiving reports that people are being turned away, made to show picture ID, not allowed to register, and various other efforts at stopping them from getting their voices heard.

We're doing everything we can out here to get every possible person to vote and to have their vote count. And our enemies are doing everything they can to confuse or outright block people. It's disgusting.
Posted by Zuulabelle on June 5, 2012 at 12:36 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
of course they are.

if everyone votes, they lose.

luckily for them, young and working people are easily distracted by bread lines and for-profit circuses.
Posted by Will in Seattle on June 5, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
Actually it's not part of the game. It is illegal. There have been convictions in the past for similar activities. Not nearly enough of course, and I doubt this instance will be prosecuted, but it should.
Posted by CrankyBacon on June 5, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 6
Conservatives, I can't hear your reasoned arguments over the sound of your screeching.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on June 5, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
What do you mean you "understand" and "Its part of the game"?

The dems should make a HUGE deal about this. There is one party that wants fewer people to vote. Somehow they have let the republicans dominate the debate with their voter fraud hysteria.
Posted by longball on June 5, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
Schmapdi 9
Why is it not a bigger deal? Because the Democrats aren't doing it. If they were trying to discourage the old-white people vote Republicans would be screaming bloody murder and it would be a huge scandal.

Republicans get away with fucking everything though. It's major bullshit, and they only way they are still a competitive national party are through these "lets stop people from voting" measures they pass all the time.
Posted by Schmapdi on June 5, 2012 at 12:50 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 10
don't worry, Eric Holder's justice department is ON IT like a hobo on a ham sandwich.
Posted by Max Solomon on June 5, 2012 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Since this is fundamental to our democracy, they should make it a mandatory life in prison for anyone convicted of voter suppression (or paying/funding someone to do so). It seems the convictions are always after the election is over and the damage done. And I think they usually pay a fine, which means this is just a cost of doing business for those who cheat.
Posted by Sterno on June 5, 2012 at 12:56 PM · Report this
Zebes 12

Hey, hey. HEY. Hey. Voter fraud is a big deal, a huge threat. Like, a dozen or so votes in any given election may be fraudulent, and if we need to cut 10,000 people off the rolls to help stamp out those dozen fraudulent votes, then that's just what we'll have to do. The tree of liberty needs to be watered with the blood of patriots, or something like that.
Posted by Zebes on June 5, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
this is one of those things that's only ok if you're a republican.... such as having affairs or taking bribes
Posted by high and bi on June 5, 2012 at 1:08 PM · Report this
Any idiot who believes a robocall that tells them their vote has already been recorded because they signed a petition doesn't deserve to vote.
Posted by bigyaz on June 5, 2012 at 1:41 PM · Report this
#15 Any idiot who would even consider voting for Scott Walker or any republican is by definition a moron and doesn't deserve to vote.
Posted by screed on June 5, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
Yes, fucking with voters is a bad thing. But not nearly as much a disgrace as the more than 50% of Americans that just plain can't be bothered to get their ass of the couch to participate in our democracy.

The Repubs have got nothing on apathy.
Posted by Westside forever on June 5, 2012 at 1:57 PM · Report this
A likely incorrect, but widely-accepted early 20th C. folk etymology of the word "phony" stems from early scams that used the telephone.

I'm all for free speech, but willful lying shouldn't be covered, especially when it's part of a concerted conspiracy. It's sad that it's illegal to defraud people of property, but not their rights of citizenship.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on June 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM · Report this
onion 19
Barrett voter in Madison here. I totally agree.
However, I hope your condemnation is consistent. A Walker voter I know here was peeved this week when she got six (6!) visits by canvassers that had her address and a fake name with it as having signed the recall petition. ie, someone fraudulently used her address to sign the petition. You know, a serious crime.
Pissed me off to hear a real example of petition fraud. No matter which side did it.
Posted by onion on June 5, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 20
This country deserves to perish.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on June 5, 2012 at 2:19 PM · Report this
blackhook 21
Republicns know that, since they have no new constructive ideas of their own, they have to rely on baffling the uneducated with bullshit.

...and I agree that those responsible for these shameful calls should be prosecuted.
Posted by blackhook on June 5, 2012 at 2:19 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 22
I... I kind of agree with @15 here.
Posted by Westlake, son! on June 5, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
@16: Not relevant to my comment.
Posted by bigyaz on June 5, 2012 at 2:37 PM · Report this
malcolmxy 25
I also tend to agree with @15. Representative Democracy needs informed citizens in order for it to work.

At the same time, informed citizens would end up being informed via the media, and if the media isn't doing its job in reporting stories like this very well, then it's hard to blame people if they become confused (OK, no it isn't, but it's at least a little understandable).

I'd be curious to know, verbatim, what the call said, because if it actually said, "if you signed petition X, your vote has been registered and you needn't report to your designated polling place today/tomorrow/whenever," then it is illegal.

They must have either added something on the end of the call, after most people would have hung up, or worded it very carefully...or, they're in violation of the law and no one is bothering to do anything about it.
Posted by malcolmxy on June 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
119% voter participation in Madison (same day registration)
Posted by anon1256 on June 5, 2012 at 3:01 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 27
Of course the Republicans would try something like that because most of their people aren't that bright. They'd believe a robo call that told them they didn't need to vote.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on June 5, 2012 at 3:37 PM · Report this
#24 if you want to impose some kind of intelligence test on voter eligibility (i.e. like a literacy test, which was banned in 1965 by the Voter Rights Act, btw) then yes, by all means, lets open up the discussion about what should be a minimum intelligence threshold for being able to vote. You think believing a dishonest robo-call is sufficient grounds to disqualify a citizen's right to vote. I would counter that anyone who believes and supports anything a republican says should be disqualified as well. For being idiotic, stupid and likely a moron. My litmus test is about as relevant as yours.
Posted by screed on June 5, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
venomlash 29
Apparently the phone number placing the calls is registered to the Republican Party. And the Republicans have claimed that they had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the calls.
It's a case of "me or your lying eyes" in here now.
Posted by venomlash on June 5, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
@1 I mean I am kind of with you; but money ISNT QUITE speech; and no one is deciding the value of your speech by your net worth. Just because a voice is heard doesn't mean it is respected [see: Nader; see: Paul; see: Perot; see: Kucinich - all multi-millionaire candidates]

There is ultimately no replacement for charisma and talkin' good.
Posted by fetish on June 5, 2012 at 5:18 PM · Report this
surely someone has missed this robocall and has the message in their voicemail, along with the time stamp and originating phone number. as soon as that person can produce the evidence, the matter can be investigated.

I'm all for recalling this son of a bitch. My parents, grandfathers, aunts and uncles were all union workers. But I can't decide which is worse, the fact that dishonest tactics are at play in this election, or the commenters from the link Paul provided.
Posted by catballou on June 5, 2012 at 5:37 PM · Report this

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