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January 23, 2019

12/14/2018 2:02:00 PM
Restricted early voting not good

To State Senator Marklein, and all Republican Legislators in the State of Wisconsin:
Of all the egregious items in the three "lame duck" bills you passed this past week, is one that cuts to the core of what a democracy is: the citizen's right to vote. You voted to restrict early voting to two weeks across the state because you are convinced that the early voters in Dane and Milwaukee counties somehow "rigged" this past November's election, bringing a new, democratically elected governor and attorney general into office. Those early voters "rigged" the election by simply showing up to vote. By implication, of course, you are including Iowa County as well, as this county, where I proudly reside and which you claim to represent, voted heavily Democratic, just in smaller numbers.
I understand your logic: if giving more citizens an increased opportunity to vote diminishes the chances of Republicans winning elections, you will shut down the process as much as you can. Using that same logic, you would, if you could, eliminate early voting altogether. Using that same logic, you might consider, if you could, purging all those who vote for Democrats from the voting rosters.
You are not restricting early voting because it is the "right" thing to do. For centuries, Americans have witnessed many attempts to limit the right to vote. Reasonable Americans have concluded these restrictions are undemocratic and un-American. Reasonable Democrats and Republicans understand that even if early voting causes your party to lose an election, allowing more people to vote is still the "right" thing to do. One of your goals as legislators should be to increase voter participation in every election.
Please, don't try to ascend the mountain of moral righteousness and claim you are restricting early voting because Democrats would do the same if they were in your situation (even if they never have) or because the Republican legislature is somehow more democratically elected than the governor or attorney general (despite they way you have gerrymandered the districts in the state.) Lets all agree you are doing it simply because you can do it. Like ten-year old bullies getting your last punches in before the "little guys" get their chance to govern.
If the right to vote and using that right to vote are at the core of American democracy, and if restricting the right to vote violates these core American values, then your party's relentless politicking to restrict voting would, logically, make your actions "undemocratic" and "un-American." Obviously you can live with that, but many of us are sickened by your disgraceful actions.
Michael Knoedler

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