Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Today is National Voter Registration Day


 
Get Your "Voting Life" in Order for November
 
 
You already know that this upcoming election is likely to be the most important and consequential in your lifetime. So much is at stake for all of us and for our children and for future generations.
 
Voting is our once chance to have a say -- equal to that of everyone else in Wisconsin and in the nation -- about the future for our families, our community, about the state of Wisconsin, and of the nation.
 
Use today to get prepared for the November 3rd Election by registering to vote (if you have not yet done so) and encourage others to register to vote today in celebration of National Voter Registration Day.
 
Did you know that one in four Americans aren't registered to vote? There’s a good chance that some of your family members, friends, or neighbors are included in that number.
 
And, we know one of the most effective ways to get these people to register is if they’re asked to by someone they know.
 

Help celebrate National Voter Registration Day by registering to vote, checking your voter status, and sharing with others information about how they can register to vote, too.
 
You can begin by double-checking that you are currently ready to vote by going to myvote.wi.gov.
 
Then -- and here’s the important part -- encourage people you know who live in Wisconsin to do the same. Voters who live outside of Wisconsin can use this Common Cause tool to find out their voter registration. Share this voter registration reminder with FIVE friends so they can make sure they’re ready to go for the November 3rd election.
 
As Wisconsinites, our right to vote is a privilege and a responsibility, and it’s never been more important to make our voices heard -- and encourage the people in our lives to do the same. Wisconsin will once again be one of the "decider" states because the vote here is expected to be very close again between the two major candidates for President.
 
But this is also a critically important election at every level - federal, state, and local, and we want all voters to be prepared. Even if you think you’re registered or have cast a ballot recently, verify your voter registration here.
 
And, if you’ve never cast a ballot before, this is your moment to take action so that you can do so. Voting is one of the most meaningful ways that you can engage in our democracy and have your voice heard and counted.
 


 
Also, if you know a student attending a college or university in Wisconsin, make a special effort to reach out to them about voting. Over half of eligible young voters (ages 18-29) do NOT cast a ballot. They need encouragement and accurate information to be able to vote in Wisconsin. Because it is not always easy, simple and straightforward here to do so.
 
We have important information available to share from the Common Cause Wisconsin website:
  
Most students already have a Wisconsin driver license or one of the other acceptable forms of photo ID for voting.
 
Students who do not have one of the other forms of acceptable ID for voting should look up their college/university on the appropriate list linked below to see if their student ID can be used as a photo ID to vote or if their school offers a special photo ID card for voting:
  
A serious and harmful global pandemic can't and won't stop us from ensuring that voters statewide have the information and resources they need to register to vote -- a critical component of a free, fair, and accessible election.
 
Get prepared to vote in Wisconsin today.
 
✅ Register to vote. MyVote.wi.gov
✅ Have a voter compliant photo ID so that your vote will be counted. Bringit.wi.gov
✅ Know what’s on your ballot. Vote411.org
✅ Learn what the options are about how to cast your ballot. Elections.wi.gov
 
Voting is the key to a healthy democracy. And that determines what your life will look like tomorrow and beyond.



CONTACT: 

Erin Grunze
608/256-2686 (office)
egrunze@commoncause.org



Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703


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

 

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Overwhelming Momentum and Support for Ending Partisan Gerrymandering in Wisconsin


 
Voters in 11 Counties Can Vote for Fair Maps Advisory Referendum on November 3rd.
 
 
Public support for ending Wisconsin's hyper-partisan gerrymandering of the state's legislative and congressional districts has never been higher than it is today -- and ever since the 2011 redistricting process, which was considered to be the most egregious and unfair of any state in the nation in that year, was rammed through the Legislature and signed into law by then-Gov. Scott Walker. The demand by Wisconsin citizens that there not be a repeat of 2011 in the upcoming redistricting process in 2021 has never been louder, more visible, more insistent nor more organized than it is right now, with less than two months before the November 3rd elections.
 
The 2019-2020 Wisconsin legislative session ended earlier this year with unprecedented bi-partisan support for redistricting reform legislation, based on Iowa's fair, non-partisan, highly effective and successful redistricting process. 2019 Assembly Bill 303 and 2019 Senate Bill 288 attracted five Republican co-sponsors in this session, four more Republicans than had ever supported it since 2011. They joined all state legislative Democrats as co-sponsors of this measure, which also drew the support of Gov. Tony Evers. But for the fifth consecutive legislative session, the Republican leaders of the Legislature -- Assembly Speaker Robin Vos of Rochester and State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau, arrogantly refused to schedule even a legislative public hearing of these immensely popular and widely supported measures.
 
But, no matter. Wisconsinites long ago have been wise to Vos and Fitzgerald's "game."

Fair maps and elections that aren't rigged would threaten their power to exercise absolute dictatorial control of the political and public policy agenda in Wisconsin and render them clueless about how to win elections and public policy based on the merits of their ideas and policy prescriptions. They need an unfair, skewed system in order to prevail. But the citizens of Wisconsin, both Republican and Democratic -- and everyone in between and beyond -- are on to their scam.
 


 
Seven years ago, Common Cause in Wisconsin united pro-reform legislators behind this “Iowa Model” legislation. Not many Wisconsinites knew or understood fully at that time what partisan gerrymandering entailed and just how destructive it has been to basic fairness and democracy in this state by effectively silencing the voices of millions of Wisconsin voters in elections since 2012. But now, after seven years of intensive citizen education and high visibility information about this issue by CC/WI and our allies -- virtually every citizen of all political stripes grasps this issue and the need to have fair voting maps, not the rigged, partisan maps we have now. A Marquette Law School statewide poll found that 72 percent of Wisconsinites support a nonpartisan redistricting process for 2021 and that includes 62 percent of all Republican voters. Every day, we are increasingly winning this battle for the hearts and minds of Wisconsinites.
 
Grassroots citizen pressure at the local level has resulted in the passage of resolutions in support of the Iowa Model by more than three fourths (55) of Wisconsin’s 72 counties thus far, most of which voted “red” (for Donald Trump and Scott Walker) in the 2016 and 2018 elections. And that movement is gaining even more strength each day. We worked with our reform allies to get citizen referendums on fair voting maps on ballots in eleven counties to pass overwhelmingly on April 7th and now have won in all 17 counties that have held such votes!
 
Every time they have an opportunity to weigh in at the polling place, Wisconsinites categorically and overwhelmingly reject the Vos/Fitzgerald rigged, hyper-partisan gerrymandering scheme. On April 7th, there were advisory referendums in support of a non-partisan redistricting process, modeled after Iowa's system on the ballot in eleven counties: Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Oneida, Pierce, Portage, Rock, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Vilas and Wood. It passed everywhere it was on the ballot with overwhelming public support.
 
This November, another eleven Wisconsin counties: Adams, Bayfield, Brown, Crawford, Door, Dunn, Iowa, Jefferson, Kenosha, Rusk and Waushara will have advisory referendums on their ballot asking voters in those counties if they support ending partisan gerrymandering and support a non-partisan fair maps process like the State of Iowa's. There is no doubt that voters will overwhelmingly vote yes in those counties. Why wouldn't you? Please be sure that you do. Here is a recent article about the Fair Maps advisory referendum effort in Door County. It is representative of the Fair Maps offensive in every Wisconsin county.
 
Wisconsinites will also have an opportunity to weigh in publicly this Fall and next year in support on ending partisan gerrymandering by testifying at one of the eight (virtual) public hearings being scheduled by Governor Ever's "People's Map Commission." The schedule for the virtual hearings is:
  • Week of September 21, 2020
  • Week of October 26, 2020
  • Week of November 16, 2020
  • Week of December 7, 2020
  • Week of January 18, 2021
  • Week of February 15, 2021
  • Week of March 15, 2021
  • Week of April 19, 2021
For more information about how to testify or watch these hearings go here.
 
 

 
 
Last month, CC/WI Board Chair, and former Wisconsin State Senator and Majority Leader Tim Cullen of Janesville, teamed up with former Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dale Schultz to author this excellent guest editorial about the need for redistricting reform and adopting the Iowa Model for Wisconsin, that appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal. 
 
And also this Summer, the Wisconsin Examiner published this opinion-editorial by CC/WI Director Jay Heck about the ongoing deception that Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald have long perpetrated about the Iowa Model reform legislation and its constitutionality. 
 
Redistricting reform will occur in Wisconsin, sooner or later. Support for ending partisan gerrymandering is growing and Governor Tony Evers and Wisconsin’s other statewide constitutional officers support it too. Republican support in the Legislature has increased and the issue is “front and center” for 2020 and 2021. Our task is to continue to advocate, educate, organize and keep pushing forward to get this done. And we will. We will never give in or quit in this fight. Nor will you.
 
Make ending partisan gerrymandering a top-tier issue when you vote this November!
 
On Wisconsin!




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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Friday, September 4, 2020

Only 60 Days Until Election Day - November 3rd! How to Vote Safely by Absentee Ballot

For Release: Friday - September 4, 2020

This week the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) mailed an application for an absentee ballot for the November 3 election along with additional voting information to approximately 2.6 million registered Wisconsin voters who have not already requested an absentee ballot. Voters have already begun receiving this mailing in home.
 
The mailing has an absentee request form and a postage-paid reply envelope. The WEC encourages voters who choose to vote absentee to request their ballot as soon as possible, whether online or by mail. Making your request early helps your clerk to prepare and ready ballots for you and the voters in your community.
 
You can also request your absentee ballot at MyVote.wi.gov now for November. Don't wait. Do it today!

Then, beginning September 17, clerks will begin mailing absentee ballots for November 3 to registered voters with requests on file. This gives voters time to complete the ballot and return it. When your ballot arrives, be sure to follow the instructions and fill out your ballot and return envelope correctly. You need to have an adult U.S. citizen witness and sign your return envelope. You will also have to sign your return envelope. Then mail it back to the clerk in the postage-paid envelope. Or return it to an official spot designated by the clerk, such as a secure drop box or to the clerk’s office. More information about these official return spots are at MyVote.wi.gov or contact your clerk.
 
When requesting an absentee ballot, you will be prompted to upload a picture of your ID. Bring it to the Ballot has information about valid IDs that can be used to vote in Wisconsin. Acceptable photo IDs include a Wisconsin driver license, state ID card, passport, veteran’s ID card, tribal ID card, military ID, student ID or certificate of naturalization. If you don’t have an acceptable photo ID, the Voter ID Coalition helpline (608-285-2141) can answer your questions and assist you in getting an ID. 
 
Once you have your photo ID to vote, you can find additional voting information online at MyVote.wi.gov. MyVote is the official website of the Wisconsin Election Commission and through this website, voters can register to vote, make their absentee ballot request, find their polling place, view a sample ballot, or contact their municipal clerk to learn more about voting by absentee ballot in-person and by mail. The WEC also has a toll free helpline (866-VOTE-WIS) if you run into problems navigating the website or have voting related questions.
 
Put your plan in place now for the Presidential Election on November 3, 2020 to vote safely and securely.

And it’s not just the presidential candidates on this ballot, there are also federal, state, and county candidates whose jobs have a direct impact on your everyday life, and who you get to vote for this November.

Preparing now can ensure that you get your ballot and information you need before the deadlines.

If you experience problems or have questions, there is help. Call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) for support from nonpartisan election protection volunteers with questions or to report problems. Voters with disabilities have the right to an accessible polling place. This includes the right to use an accessible voting machine, to assistance marking a ballot, and to voting curbside. Call the Disability Rights Wisconsin Voter Hotline for assistance: 1-844-347-8683.

Poll Workers Needed
Did you know you can also sign up to be a poll worker through MyVote? You can! While Wisconsin voters are increasingly using absentee ballots to vote this year, in-person voting will still be popular and poll workers are vital to making the voting process safe, secure, and smooth. If you’re able, consider becoming a poll worker. Find out more at
 




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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