Sunday, January 31, 2021

In The News - January 2021

Viewpoint: Look to Iowa for example of fair maps
January 31, 2021 - Op-Ed by Roger Utnehmer, Wausau Pilot & Review

Bill proposed to change electoral vote process
January 28, 2021 - Tim Kowols, Door County Daily News

Documents Suggest Assembly Lawmaker Lives Outside District In Violation Of State Law
January 28, 2021 - Rob Mentzer, Wisconsin Public Radio

Jay Heck interview on the Upcoming Republican Attempts to Further Suppress Voting
January 25, 2021 - interview starts at 21:00 minutes, The Devil's Advocates Radio

Jay Heck: Beware of GOP voting restrictions in Wisconsin
January 24, 2021 - Jay Heck, guest columnist, Wisconsin State Journal

Rep. Shannon Zimmerman omits Florida vacation rental business from ethics filings
January 21, 2021 - Henry Redman, Wisconsin Examiner

Wisconsin justices skeptical of GOP redistricting proposal
January 14, 2021 - Scott Bauer, AP News


Friday, January 29, 2021

Request your Absentee Ballots for the 2021 Elections. Visit MyVote TODAY.

Friday – January 29, 2021

The 2021 Spring Primary is just around the corner (even though we are in the middle of winter). Be ready for the 2021 elections by reviewing and sharing the information below.
Remember every election mattersdepending on the race, the candidate that wins the primary, locks up the victory for that office in the primary election.
Request your absentee ballot to be mailed to you for the 2/16 Spring Primary!
Go to and make a request for your absentee ballot to be sent to you by mail in just seconds. In Wisconsin, any registered voter can vote absentee - no excuses needed. And you can make a request to get all your ballots by mail so you're sure not to miss out on voting in any election in 2021. Request your ballot for the 2/16 election today. The sooner you make your request, the more likely you are to receive and send back your ballot in time for it to be counted.
What's on my ballot this Spring? You will find local and state races on your ballot. These may include the State Superintendent Of Public Instruction, City Council, Village President, Judges, Mayor, and Alders. (Find out what is on your ballot at MyVote). These offices have direct impact on you. The more local the election, the more likely the people elected may live in your neighborhood. Your vote matters in our state and local elections.
Get to know who wants to represent you and which candidate best represents your values before you vote. Find candidate and ballot information from the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin at Vote411.
Wisconsin's youngest voters need to stay engaged and should plan to vote in 2021. Are you a college student voting in Wisconsin? Or do you know a student who wants to vote in Wisconsin? Here is important information from the Common Cause Wisconsin website to share: Three Things College Students Need to Do To Vote in Wisconsin

Voting by absentee ballot, having the correct ID, finding your polling place, knowing the deadlines...None of these things have to be scary, but they can be overwhelming. Help is just a call, text, or email away.

Call or text the WI Voter Helpline at 608-285-2141 and you will be connected to a nonpartisan person who can help answer all your questions. You can also request services such as getting assistance at the DMV to get an ID to vote or having someone witness your absentee ballot.

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. Or email: Additional online resources are also at the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition website

If you experience problems at the polls or have questions, there is help. Call Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) for support from nonpartisan election protection volunteers with questions or to report problems.
Make a plan to vote this year. There is time to prepare and be voter ready. Democracy depends on it. Democracy depends on you.

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

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


Monday, January 25, 2021

Jay Heck: Beware of GOP voting restrictions in Wisconsin

Monday – January 25, 2021

Photo credit: Amber Arnold, Wisconsin State Journal

Note: This appeared as a guest-editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal on Sunday, January 24, 2021.
Impartial experts have described the Nov. 3 election as one of the most secure and accurate in recent history. No election has ever been monitored more closely because of fears of foreign and domestic disruptions during a pandemic.
Voting rights activists worked hard to inform tens of thousands of Wisconsin voters how to vote safely by absentee ballots through the mail and early in person. Hundreds of volunteers served as polling place monitors and monitored social media for disinformation. Election officials and staff did a great job.
The result was the highest voter turnout in a presidential election since 2004 — 72.3% of all eligible voters.
But because Joe Biden carried Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes — a result verified in the statewide canvass and further reinforced by a recount of only ballots in the Democratic strongholds of Dane and Milwaukee counties — some supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked huge swaths of voters here. They filed baseless and unsubstantiated lawsuits in a desperate attempt to disqualify enough ballots to swing the state to Trump.
They failed.
Yet some Republicans in the Legislature still want to make voting more difficult in this state, even though Wisconsin already has one of the most restrictive and extreme voter photo ID laws in the nation. They want to do so despite the absence of any verifiable voter “fraud” during 2020.
Why? Because they didn’t like the fact that Biden won.
After creating and repeating their false narrative about Wisconsin’s election results — sowing doubt, skewing reality and creating chaos with their own lies — some Republicans now claim the election system they created beginning in 2011 is “broken” and will require their “fixes.”
Republicans in the Legislature recently unveiled a partisan proposal to apportion eight of Wisconsin’s electoral votes by congressional district beginning in 2024. In 2020, Biden won the popular vote in Wisconsin and carried all of Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral College votes. Under the new Republican proposal, electoral votes would be decided by the votes each presidential candidate receives in each congressional district. In 2020, Trump had more votes than Biden in six of the state’s eight gerrymandered congressional districts. So under this GOP plan, Trump would have received six electoral votes to Biden four — even though Biden won the most votes overall.
This Republican “fix” would further dilute the voices of voters in Wisconsin in the already flawed Electoral College system of electing presidents.
Republicans also may try to restrict the ability of voters to utilize absentee ballots. They may ban the use of safe and secure voter drop boxes and other collection methods. They hope to vastly restrict the definition of “indefinitely confined” voters, and to further limit early in-person voting opportunities. They may even move to eliminate Election Day voter registration, which has been in place in Wisconsin for decades.
All of these methods for casting ballots are used by voters across the political spectrum throughout the state. They have been used by the very legislators who now seek to limit or stop them.
This is all part of a consistent and long-term strategy of Republicans in the Legislature to maintain and extend their partisan advantage by making it more difficult to vote for those who tend to vote for Democrats and progressives, such as people of color, residents of Milwaukee and Dane counties, and college and university students.
Common Cause in Wisconsin has long opposed this cynical, anti-democratic strategy, and we will be in the forefront of resisting upcoming efforts to restrict voting further.

Gov. Tony Evers says he will veto any such measures and oppose voter suppression. Yet the governor’s opposition to this looming threat to democracy isn’t enough.
The citizens of Wisconsin need to rise up and make it clear to every member of the Wisconsin Legislature that they should be expanding voting opportunities and making it easier for more Wisconsinites to be able to participate in elections. Citizens need to make it clear that any attempt to restrict election participation will not be tolerated and will be resisted to the full extent that is lawfully possible.
Contact your Legislators: Go to the Wisconsin State Legislature Page, scroll to "Who Are My Legislators?" and enter your street address. Then you'll be given phone numbers and email addresses to your State Senator and Representative.

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

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