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Written by League of Conservation Voters, Ryan Billingham   
Monday, 03 September 2018 21:12

univ-student-voteEighth Entry in ‘Walker’s Wisconsin’ Series is all about voting rights.


MADISON – As part of its Field Guide to Taking Back Wisconsin campaign, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters released the eighth entry in its Walker’s Wisconsin series today. The series recounts Gov. Scott Walker’s extreme anti-conservation agenda and outlines just how far he’s taken our state, once considered a conservation model, to somewhere that’s hardly recognizable.

This week it's all about democracy, particularly voting rights. The Walker administration has done more to erode voting rights in the state than any other in its history. From voter ID laws to restricting early voting, Walker’s policies have led to the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters.

To read more, visit the Field Guide at conservationvoters.org/field-guide.

DEMOCRACY

Walker restricted early voting

In 2014, Walker signed a bill (SB 324) that that limited clerk’s office hours and the days available for early voting. It eliminated weekend voting and restricted voting hours. Before the law, municipalities could offer early voting as soon as ballots were printed for about 30 to 45 days including weekends, through the final day before the election.

Walker enacted voter ID laws

In May 2011, Walker signed a law (AB 7) requiring a photo ID to vote. The law plants Wisconsin among only five other states that have the same strict requirement: Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, and South Carolina. A recent report estimates thousands of voters were disenfranchised by the law in 2016. The UW-Madison study reports 11 percent of voters eligible to cast a ballot in Dane and Milwaukee counties but who did not, cited the voter ID as why. That translates to between 16,000 and 23,000 votes.

Walker dismantled the Government Accountability Board

In 2015, after investigations into his own campaign dealings, Walker signed legislation (AB 388) that dismantled the Government Accountability Board (GAB). The GAB, created under Gov. Jim Doyle, was a bipartisan effort championed by both parties, including party leaders like now-Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald. In addition to dismantling the GAB, Walker also signed AB 387, which dramatically altered the state’s campaign finance laws, loosening restrictions on coordination between outside groups and politicians.

Walker approved radical gerrymandering

Called by experts as some of the most extreme gerrymandering in U.S. history, Walker signed SB 148 into law in 2011 new district maps that were extraordinarily partisan. Walker signed the bill privately on the same day of his recall election. Due to its extreme gerrymandering, court challenges went all the way to the Supreme Court. The matter is still being resolved before a district court that had ruled the districts unconstitutional.

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Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to electing conservation leaders, holding decision makers accountable, and encouraging lawmakers to champion conservation policies that effectively protect Wisconsin's public health and natural resources.

 
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