Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Federal Court Rules 2011 State Legislative District Maps are Unconstitutional




For Release: Tuesday - November 22, 2016

Statement of Common Cause in Wisconsin Director Jay Heck on
Federal Court Ruling That


Wisconsin's 2011 Gerrymandering
of State Legislative Districts is Unconstitutional


On Monday, a federal 3-judge court panel issued an unprecedented decision that is a huge victory for all of those voters of Wisconsin who want and deserve a real choice in their elections and a system of redrawing state legislative districts after each Census in a non-partisan, transparent and reputable process.

Never before in the nation's history has partisan gerrymandering been struck down as unconstitutional.


Yesterday, that standard changed for the betterment of democracy – not just in Wisconsin, but nationally.

For more on this significant and hopeful development go here and here.

Forward!




CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)




Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Today is Election Day: What You Need to Know



For Release: Tuesday - November 8, 2016


Voter ID / Getting to the Polls / Election Protection

Today is Election Day, so please make sure you're prepared to vote if you have not done so already.

Make sure you have a photo ID that is acceptable for voting.

Take a moment to look over the IDs pictured left to ensure you have a photo ID that can be used for voting.

(Click to enlarge image)

If you already have a Wisconsin driver license or one of the other acceptable forms of ID for voting, then you're "ID ready." Just remember to bring it with you when you head to your polling place!

If you don't have an acceptable ID for voting on Election Day you can STILL vote.

You can ask for AND vote with a provisional ballot. But, for your ballot to be counted, you MUST either come back to your polling place with an acceptable form of ID before it closes at 8:00 pm on Election Day OR bring your ID to your municipal clerk's office by 4:00 pm the Friday after the Election (November 11th).

If you or someone you know needs help getting a DMV-isssued Wisconsin ID before that November 11th deadline, contact our partners at VoteRiders at one of these two voter ID hotline numbers for assistance: (608) 729-7720 or (414) 882-8622.

If you are a college student using your student ID for voting, make sure that ID is compliant.

If you do not have one of the other forms of photo ID pictured above, and you are a college student hoping to use your student ID and a proof of enrollment document as your "voter ID," look up your school NOW on the appropriate list linked below to see if your current student ID is an acceptable form of ID for voting. If your student ID cannot be used for voting, you can find out if a separate school-issued "voter photo ID" is available and how to get one.

  University of Wisconsin – 4-Year Schools
  University of Wisconsin – 2-Year Schools
  Wisconsin Private Universities & Colleges
  Wisconsin Technical Colleges


Make sure you're registered to vote, and if you are not, bring what you need to register at the polls.

Before you head out to the polls, check to see that you are registered to vote at your current address. If you are not, be sure to bring a proof of residence document (hard copy or electronic on your cell phone or tablet) when you go to the polls so that you can register there.

Be sure you know the location of your polling place, and make a plan on how you'll get there.


If you're not sure where to vote, you can look up the location of your polling place here.

Do you need a ride to the polls?

CC/WI has both identified and recruited organizations and individual volunteers across the state willing to offer free rides to the polls. The latest list of free ride options is available on our website here.

Have voting questions or problems?

Common Cause in Wisconsin is once again partnering with the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, to provide "guidance, information and help to any American, regardless of who that voter is casting a ballot for." You have the right to vote without harassment or intimidation at your polling place.



Election Protection’s highly-trained legal volunteers are available to assist voters with any questions or problems, no matter how simple or complex. Voters may call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) toll-free with any questions or issues that may arise. Spanish-speaking voters may seek assistance through the 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682) hotline.




CONTACT:

Jay Heck

608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)


For Voting Information, contact:


Sandra Miller
Director of Information Services & Outreach
608/658-2109
smiller@commoncause.org

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



Read More...


Monday, November 7, 2016

Statewide List of Free Rides to the Polls on Election Day




For Release: Monday - November 7, 2016


In order for our democracy to work, for it to be a true democracy, we have to show up. But for those without transportation to the polls, "showing up" can be tough, if not impossible.

In an effort to raise awareness of free ride options for those without a way to get to their polling place, Common Cause in Wisconsin has developed a list of advocacy groups, transit authorities, transportation and other organizations throughout the state offering rides. To increase the number of ride options, we've also recruited individual volunteers to add to our statewide "Free Rides to the Polls" directory – a list that continues to grow with just one day left before tomorrow's election.

If you or someone you know needs a ride, check out the latest version of this our list of free ride options linked on our website.

And if you would like to join our team of volunteer drivers – or know of any groups in your area offering free rides to the polls, please contact us asap so that we can add you/them to our list!

Remember, if we want to preserve and protect our democracy, we not only have to show up – we need to do whatever we can to help other eligible voters do the same.

For links to more information about voting in Wisconsin – voter photo ID, college and university student voting, election protection hotline numbers, and more – please visit the Voting Resources page on our website.




Sandra Miller
Director of Information Services & Outreach
608/658-2109
smiller@commoncause.org


Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org




Read More...


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Are you Registered and "ID Ready" to Vote?



For Release: Sunday - November 6, 2016

With the presidential election just two days away, are you ready to vote? How about your friends, neighbors... every eligible voter you know?

This Tuesday marks the first presidential election in Wisconsin in which a photo ID will be required to cast a ballot. So take a moment to look over the IDs pictured left to ensure you have a photo ID that can be used for voting.

(Click to enlarge image)

If you already have a Wisconsin driver license or one of the other acceptable forms of ID for voting, then you're "ID ready." Just remember to bring it with you when you head to your polling place!

If you or someone you know does NOT have an acceptable ID for voting and needs help getting one at your local DMV so you can vote in Tuesday's election, contact our partners at VoteRiders at one of these two voter ID hotline numbers for assistance: (608) 729-7720 or (414) 882-8622.

What if you don't have an acceptable ID for voting on Election Day?

You can ask for AND vote with a provisional ballot. But, for your ballot to be counted, you MUST either come back to your polling place with an acceptable form of ID before it closes at 8:00 pm on Election Day OR bring your ID to your municipal clerk's office by 4:00 pm the Friday after the Election (November 11th).

Are you a college student planning to use your student ID for voting?

If you do not have one of the other forms of photo ID pictured above, and you are a college student hoping to use your student ID and a proof of enrollment document as your "voter ID," look up your school NOW on the appropriate list linked below to see if your current student ID is an acceptable form of ID for voting. If your student ID cannot be used for voting, you can find out if a separate school-issued "voter photo ID" is available and how to get one.

  University of Wisconsin – 4-Year Schools
  University of Wisconsin – 2-Year Schools
  Wisconsin Private Universities & Colleges
  Wisconsin Technical Colleges


Are you registered to vote?

Before you head out to the polls, check to see that you are registered to vote at your current address. If you are not, be sure to bring a proof of residence document (hard copy or electronic on your cell phone or tablet) when you go to the polls on Tuesday so that you can register there.

Do you need a ride to the polls?

CC/WI has both identified and recruited organizations and individual volunteers across the state willing to offer free rides to the polls.The latest list of free ride options is available on our website here.

If you are interested in being a driver or know of any groups in your area offering this service on Election Day, please contact CC/WI by email so that we can add them to our list!

Make sure you're ready to make your voice heard!

Visit the Voting Resources page on for more on voting in Wisconsin.




Contact:


Sandra Miller
Director of Information Services & Outreach
608/658-2109
smiller@commoncause.org

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



Read More...


Friday, November 4, 2016

Early, In-Person Absentee Voting Ends TODAY for Most Wisconsinites



For Release: Friday - November 4, 2016


Today is the last day to cast an early, in-person absentee ballot for most Wisconsin voters. Although in some municipalities you'll still be able to cast an early absentee ballot tomorrow (e.g., in Milwaukee) or tomorrow and Sunday (e.g., in Madison). If you think there's a chance you won't make it to the polls next Tuesday, do not put it off, visit an early voting site and cast your ballot TODAY.

Keep in mind that – if you are not already registered to vote – the deadline to register in person at your municipal clerk's office is 5:00 PM today.

After today, if you are not already registered, you must register to vote on Election Day – next Tuesday, November 8th – at your polling place before casting your ballot.

You can find out if you are registered at your current address at MyVote.WI.gov. If you need to register to vote, be sure to bring a proof of residence document (hard copy or electronic on your cell phone or tablet).

For more information about early voting in your city, town or village, please contact your municipal clerk.

For details on early, absentee voting in Wisconsin, go here

If you are planning to vote next Tuesday, remember: Wisconsin Law allows you to take up to three hours off work to vote, as long as you notify your employer BEFORE Election Day. Though your employer is not obligated to pay you for that time off and can designate the time of day you leave to cast your ballot, they cannot impose any other penalty or refuse to allow you to take time off to vote.

And don't forget to bring an acceptable form of photo ID for voting.

You will need to present one of the acceptable forms of ID pictured here when voting in Wisconsin, so take a moment and check to see if you have the ID you need to cast a ballot early or on Election Day.

If you don't have an acceptable ID, review the information on our downloadable fact sheet on voter ID and/or visit: Bring It to the Ballot.

And do NOT give up on voting just because you do not have an ID! Our partners at VoteRiders can help you get an acceptable form of ID for voting from your local DMV. Just call one of these two voter ID hotline numbers for assistance: (608) 729-7720 or (414) 882-8622.

Do you need a ride to the polls?

CC/WI has both identified and recruited organizations and individual volunteers across the state willing to offer free rides to the polls. The latest directory of free ride options is available on our website here.

If you are interested in being a driver or know of any groups in your area offering this service during this last week of early voting, on Election Day, or both, please contact CC/WI by email asap so that we can add them to our list!


For links to more information about voter photo ID, college and university student voting, and for election protection hotline numbers, please visit the Voting Resources page on our website.





CONTACT:

Jay Heck

608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)


For Voting Information, contact:


Sandra Miller
Director of Information Services & Outreach
608/658-2109
smiller@commoncause.org

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org




Read More...


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Do Not Be Intimidated By Irresponsible & Dangerous Talk of "Rigged Elections" & "Voter Fraud"



For Release: Wednesday - November 2, 2016


There has been far too much irresponsible and dangerous (to democracy) talk about "rigged elections" and voter fraud on the part of Donald Trump and his allies.

Let us be clear.

There are no rigged elections in the United States, and voter fraud is virtually non-existent. The "Trump talk" is just that – talk. It is designed to incite and inflame, and to try to intimidate voters from exercising their fundamental right as a citizen to cast a ballot for the candidates of their choice.

In recent weeks, there has been increasing fear that partisans seeking to disrupt and intimidate voters may show up at polling places to try to discourage voters in some areas from casting ballots. But as Andrea Kaminski, the Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin recently wrote:

Wisconsin voters should not be intimidated because we have safeguards to prevent observers from disrupting the voting process. In our state, election observers must sign in with their name, address and affiliation, if any. They may not wear buttons or clothing referring to a candidate or party. They must stay in a designated area, and they may not speak directly to voters, photograph voters or poll lists, or interfere with the voting process. If they have a concern, they need to address it with the chief inspector, and if they violate these rules, the chief can have them removed.

Any observer who wants to challenge a person’s right to vote will have to state under oath what specific information they have indicating the individual is not qualified to vote. 'She looks too young' or 'his name sounds foreign' are not acceptable charges.

This is very sound advice. Do not be intimidated and do not allow anyone to discourage you from voting. And if you have any problem whatsoever at your polling place, talk to the chief inspector there and/or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for assistance.

Election Protection’s highly-trained legal volunteers are available to assist voters with any questions or problems, no matter how simple or complex. Voters may call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) toll-free; Spanish-speaking voters may seek assistance through the 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682) hotline.



Please share this information with everyone you know, and vote! To find out where your polling place is go here.




CONTACT:

Jay Heck

608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)


For Voting Information, contact:


Sandra Miller
Director of Information Services & Outreach
608/658-2109
smiller@commoncause.org

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org




Read More...


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

In the News - November 2016




Read More...


Free Rides to the Polls During Early Voting or on Election Day



For Release: Tuesday - November 1, 2016

Need a Ride to the Polls During Early Voting or on Election Day?



Common Cause in Wisconsin Aims to Help

Two years ago, Common Cause in Wisconsin (CC/WI) received a call from a voter in Racine wondering if we knew of anyone in her area offering free rides to the polls on Election Day. After much digging we were able to find a group doing just that – the Racine Interfaith Coalition.

That individual's request got us thinking about the many other voters who might be having a hard time finding a ride to their polling place. So we started researching ride options across the state and discovered that, in most areas where rides were being offered, information about the service was often scarce.

In many areas, we found that free rides to the polls were simply not happening.

To help shore up this information gap, and at the same time, create more free ride options, CC/WI reached out to advocacy groups, transit authorities, and transportation companies throughout Wisconsin to identify and compile a list of those offering a free ride service. We also recruited individual volunteers to add to our statewide "Free Rides to the Polls" master list – a list that was used widely back in 2014.

We are conducting the same program this fall, and have so far put together a list with nearly three times as many ride options as the one we compiled two years ago. And the number of drivers/organizations offering rides is still growing.

If you or someone you know needs a ride, check out the latest version of this year's list of free ride options linked on our website.

And if you would like to join our team of volunteer drivers – or know of any folks in your area offering free rides to the polls during this final week of early voting, on Election Day, or both – please contact us asap so that we can add you/them to our list!

Remember, if we want to preserve and protect our democracy, we not only have to show up – we need to do whatever we can to help other eligible voters do the same.



Contact:

Sandra Miller
Director of Information Services & Outreach
608/658-2109
smiller@commoncause.org


Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org




Read More...