By Martha Love
Ruthelle Frank has been voting since 1948. A misspelling on her birth certificate means the 89- year old is unable to get a photo ID for voting, a restriction she’s challenging as the lead plaintiff in the suit against Wisconsin’s voter-ID law.
Frank isn’t the only Wisconsinite who finds themselves disenfranchised by the restriction – this barrier to voting is hurting our friends and neighbors, from college students to factory workers to retirees.
Voting is not only our constitutional right, it’s our civic duty. It’s simply un-American to create barriers that will stop an eligible voter from heading to the polls.
Unfortunately we have a governor who doesn’t see it that way. In fact, with help from our state legislature, he’s managed to jam through one of the most restrictive voter-ID laws in the United States. We know the truth now: the law was written with the full intent of keeping communities of color and almost 300,000 mostly poor, elderly, and student Wisconsinites from the polls.
The testimony from Ruthelle Frank’s lawsuit speaks for itself.
“Think about that for a minute,” a Republican staffer Todd Allbaugh said. “Elected officials planning and happy to help deny a fellow American’s constitutional right to vote in order to increase their own chances to hang on to power.”
This isn’t just happening here in Wisconsin – it’s happening in state legislatures across the country and it’s clear we need a plan to take action preserving the right to vote at the national level. Hillary Clinton has that plan. She will pass legislation restoring the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.
She will implement the common sense reforms of the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration that include expanding early, absentee and mail-in voting, and making sure no one ever has to wait more than 30 minutes to cast their vote — which would have helped Wisconsinites who faced long lines when they headed to the polls earlier this year.
She will create a new national standard of 20 days of early in-person voting everywhere — including on weekends and evenings when it’s often more convenient.
And she will finally implement universal voter registration, automatically registering every citizen to vote when they turn 18 unless they actively choose to opt out. This November, we can restore the progressive spirit and trust in our voters we once had to Wisconsin.
This November, let’s elect Hillary Clinton.