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Voting Rights


Handful of changes to Wisconsin voting rules
10/22/16 |
Publication Date: 
Saturday, October 22, 2016 - 01:00

Under [a new state law] absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8, in order to count. Previously, mail-in absentee ballots had to be postmarked by Election Day and received by a clerk’s office by 4 p.m. on the next Friday.

The new law is one of a handful of changes to voting rules that could trip up some of the half-million to a million people in the state who only turn out to vote once every four years for presidential elections.

The most substantial change for them will be the new voter ID requirement, which critics fear will cause long lines on Election Day and result in some eligible voters being turned away at the polls. Supporters say the requirement will prevent voter fraud, though incidents of illegal voter impersonation are exceptionally rare. ...

Those without a photo ID can apply for a free voting ID at a Division of Motor Vehicles location. For those lacking certain documentation, such as a birth certificate, the DMV must issue a receipt within six days that can also be used for voting while a request for ID is being processed.
How Charges of Voter Fraud Became a Political Strategy
10/21/16 |
Publication Date: 
Friday, October 21, 2016 - 01:00

[T]he principal fraud that Mr. Trump and most Republicans assail, and the only one that voter identification laws address — voters who intentionally misrepresent themselves at polling places — is exceedingly rare, experts say. They add that it is almost impossible to perpetrate on a scale that would affect the results of a national election. Democrats also note that with Republican domination of state governments, voting nationwide is increasingly overseen by Republicans. ...

Since the 2000 presidential election underscored the crucial role of voting rules in close races, allegations of widespread fraud also have figured in high-stakes political strategies. Increasingly, voter identification laws and other restrictions advertised as election security measures help determine who votes, and who does not.

“Suddenly, it became clear that in very close elections, manipulating the rules could potentially matter,” said Mr. Hasen, the election law expert. “And so voter fraud became an excuse for making it harder to register and to vote.”

And as the notion of pervasive fraud gained political value, keeping it in the public eye became smart politics as well. 


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