8 Republican Voter Suppression Bills Shut Sown By WI Governor

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A whopping eight elections-related bills that Republicans in Wisconsin’s state legislature passed have now been vetoed by the state’s Democratic Governor Tony Evers, who effectively ended the legislative pushes, for now, because the Republicans behind the efforts do not have sufficient support for their proposals to override his vetoes. The bills would’ve made a variety of changes to the electoral process in Wisconsin. One, for instance, was set to bar anyone other than individual voters themselves, their immediate family members, or legal guardians from returning absentee ballots to authorities. Another measure, as explained by the Associated Press, would have provided state legislators with “control over guidance delivered to local election clerks by the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission” — potentially allowing partisans to take control at a crucial juncture in conducting elections.

Wisconsin has been among the states targeted by former President Donald Trump and his allies in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. Joe Biden won there, and there’s never been any meaningful evidence that Biden’s victory in Wisconsin or any other state was the result of fraud — but among other examples of the Trump team’s machinations, Wisconsin was one of the states where allies of the now ex-president assembled supposed alternate electoral votes for Trump despite Biden’s victory.

Evers, meanwhile, remarked to state legislators that the “right to vote is fundamental to our democracy; it should not be subject to the whim of politicians who do not like the outcome of an election.” The lack of evidence for widespread election fraud means certain proposed changes to the handling of elections aren’t based in realistic concerns — in reality, they’re tied to craven political posturing. It’s not as though there was widespread fraud connected to the usage of drop boxes for mail-in ballots or expansive fraud tied to voters’ ballots being returned by people other than themselves — no systematic election fraud was present, so these Republicans are essentially purporting to solve non-existent problems.

Evers said the bills he vetoed were “passed under the guise of needing to reform our election system because elected officials in this state have enabled disinformation about our elections and elections process.” The Associated Press notes that, despite Republican claims that the bills would have simply addressed concerns identified in examinations of the electoral process conducted by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau and the right-wing organization called the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, “the vetoed bills went far beyond those recommendations and would have changed how votes are cast and elections are run in Wisconsin.” In other voting rights news, the Montana state Supreme Court recently temporarily blocked four suppressive GOP-backed laws from being enforced as litigation over the measures continues. Among other provisions, those laws — if allowed to stand — end the option for voters to register on Election Day, impose new restrictions on the usage of student IDs for voting, and more. Ending Election Day voter registration seems tailor-made to most affect those who are marginalized and may find it more difficult than others to find the pre-election time to get their voter registrations in order.