Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

The organization with the fascist-sounding name that cried wolf

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One Wisconsin Now claims to have discovered an illegal effort to suppress voter turnout. Patrick McIlheran in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel does a pretty good take down of OWN’s silliness, but there is one thing I want to add.  It seems like we go through this every election cycle.  Republicans cry, “fraud!” and find a case here and there.  The left screams, “voter suppression” in response to any effort prevent vote fraud, and of course never produces any evidence.

I don’t know if OWN is hoping to rescue  Senator Russ Feingold somehow by motivating Democratic voters with the latest cry of wolf (Feingold spokesman John Kraus is a former executive director of OWN) or if they’re just trying to raise money.  Either way they’re doing a disservice to the election process by trying to discourage any policing of the poll lists.  If their biggest complaint is that some voters might not have proper identification with them at the polls, OWN would do more good in educating their voters about casting a provisional ballot or remembering to bring their id.  OWN also runs the risk of their scare tactics becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, as their voters are discouraged by the false claims their ballots won’t be counted.

Of course, if OWN were really serious about protecting the right to vote, they would support a voter identification requirement and would work to see that everyone had some form of photo identification.  Photo identification, as we were reminded recently, is so important to functioning in today’s society.  Surely OWN would do more good supporting photo identification for the poor than trying to scare voters into thinking they may not be able to cast a ballot.  But that would not raise them money or attract them the attention they so desperately crave.

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