Thursday, November 14, 2013

Take Action TODAY: Support Redistricting Reform Legislation/Oppose New Restrictions on Voting

Press Release
November 14, 2013

Today: Support Redistricting Reform Legislation/
Oppose New Restrictions on Voting

Today, Thursday, is (mercifully) the last floor session day for the Wisconsin Assembly in 2013. There is a lot jammed onto the calendar, and the session will likely not end until Friday morning, if then. This is a horrible way to do what is supposed to be the business of the citizens of Wisconsin, but that message never seems to resonate with those who wield the gavels of power.

First, the good news: Assembly Democrats will attempt a "pulling" motion to bring the non-partisan redistricting reform legislation, Assembly Bill 185 -- that Common Cause in Wisconsin has been relentlessly advocating for without pause since the beginning of this year -- to the floor of the Assembly today (tonight or tomorrow) for a vote. The "pulling" motion is necessary because the Assembly Republican leadership has obstinately and arrogantly refused to even schedule a public hearing on the measure -- despite unprecedented support for AB 185 (and its counterpart, Senate Bill 163) from citizens and from nearly all of Wisconsin's daily newspaper editorial boards.

So, on this last floor session day of 2013, the pulling motion will be tantamount to a vote for support for redistricting reform or against it.

Now, the bad news. As we reported to you earlier this week, the Assembly will also vote on a "new" voter photo ID law -- Assembly Bill 493 -- that Wisconsin does not need and which is a blatantly partisan attempt to make it more difficult for certain segments of Wisconsin voters whom Republicans suspect of being more likely to vote Democratic, to be able to vote at all. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) wisely delayed consideration of any such measure until next year -- and after the current trial of Act 23, that is now occurring in Federal Court in Milwaukee is completed.

Common Cause in Wisconsin opposes Assembly Bill 493.

Also on the Assembly calendar schedule for today is another ill-conceived, ill-advised and absolutely unnecessary measure that greatly shortens the time that Wisconsin voters will be able to cast "in-person" absentee ballots prior to election day. Assembly Bill 54 was designed for one purpose and one purpose only -- to provide fewer opportunities for voters who live in Wisconsin's most populous counties and who might tend to vote more for Democrats than Republicans (particularly Milwaukee and Dane Counties), to cast a ballot at all before or on election day. There is no call by election clerks for this legislation or any call by voters for it. It is designed exclusively to advantage Republicans running for office and disadvantage Democrats.

Common Cause in Wisconsin opposes Assembly Bill 54.

Now we need you, the citizens of Wisconsin, to weigh in today!

Please contact your State Representative and urge them to support the pulling motion for Assembly Bill 185 and to vote against Assembly Bill 493 and Assembly Bill 54.

If you are not sure who your State Representative is, go here.

Thanks for actively supporting good government in Wisconsin.


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


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