Monday, June 4, 2012

1-866-OUR-VOTE: Toll Free Phone Number for Voters With Any Questions or Problems About Voting Tuesday

Reform Update
June 4, 2012

Jay Heck – 608/256-2686

  1. Toll Free Number to Call for Voting Questions & Problems on Tuesday
  2. Huge Payment of Taxpayer Dollars to Law Firm to Defend Partisan, Secret Redistricting Law Underscores Need for Redistricting Reform Now
  3. Walker and Barrett on a Special Session on Campaign Finance Reform

1. More than two million Wisconsinites are expected to vote Tuesday in the historic recall elections for Governor and for four State Senate seats. Passions and emotions about these elections may run high and so too may the temptation for some to harass, intimidate, or try to discourage some voters from participating in this most basic and sacred act of citizenship.

Fortunately, there is a place voters can turn if they have any questions about voting or if they encounter any problems at the polls. The nation’s largest nonpartisan Voter Protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, is here to help. Election Protection wants to ensure that voters are equipped with the information needed when headed to the polls given the confusion of whether Wisconsin voters will be required to present government-issue photo identification. Although the requirement was signed into law last year, a Dane County Circuit Court judge ordered a permanent injunction on the law on March 6, 2012 which halts implementation of the ID requirement. Wisconsin voters WILL NOT be required to present photo ID in order to vote a regular ballot. If you arrive at the polls and are required to show photo ID, call1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Election Protection’s highly trained 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. This English language hotline is available now and will be staffed live from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. CST on Election Day. Spanish-speaking voters may seek assistance through the 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682) hotline.

Last Thursday, the Wisconsin Department of Justice revealed that it is has spent almost $1 million of taxpayer money to defend the most secretive, partisan and uncompetitive redistricting plan ever devised in Wisconsin with all of the money going to a Milwaukee law firm charging high hourly rates. This figure is likely to rise much more before the appeal process is exhausted.

On Friday, the Wisconsin State Journal editorialized more reason for reform against this outrage, citing Common Cause in Wisconsin and calling for the adoption of a new redistricting plan modeled after Iowa's successful 32-year-old-law. CC/WI has led a two-year effort to change Wisconsin's archaic and horrible redistricting process so that we will have an Iowa-like law in place for the next redistricting process in 2021. For more on this, go here.

3. Last Wednesday, CC/WI called on the winner of the Gubernatorial recall election tomorrow to call the Wisconsin Legislature into Special Session on political reform after the election. Mike Gousha, the moderator of Thursday night's debate posed the question to both candidates during the debate. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett responded, "absolutely." Governor Scott Walker dodged the question and, instead, called for an end to recall elections!

Jay Heck, Executive Director
Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703

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