Wisconsin Republicans Are Willing to Kill to Suppress the Vote

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High voter turnout is generally good for Democrats and low turnout is good for Republicans. Because of this, Republicans have long opposed things like motor voter laws or early voting periods. In recent years, however, they’ve gotten far more aggressive, routinely championing nearly anything that might suppress voter turnout.

Which prompts a question: how far are they willing to go? I mean, they wouldn’t start gunning down voters in the streets, would they? Or would they?

As other states have canceled their nominating contests in the face of the pandemic, Wisconsin has chosen to go it alone — even though more than 100 municipalities will not have enough poll workers to open a single voting location, some voters may not receive their mail-in ballots in time, and those who do vote in person will be doing so at a time when public health officials have warned all Americans to stay home.

Amid public uproar over the issue, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) called for delaying the contest and abruptly convened a special legislative session on Saturday. But at the session, the state legislature refused to take up a proposal to cancel in-person voting in Tuesday’s elections. Republicans on Saturday also filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to block a deadline extension for mail-in ballots to be received, throwing further uncertainty into the primary.

This will get people killed. And it’s all over a state Supreme Court election that, in turn, will likely decide the fate of a voter purge that Republicans want to complete before the November presidential election.

This is how desperate Republicans are to suppress the vote. It’s not as dramatic as mowing down a few voters in order to send a message to the rest, but is forcing people to vote during a pandemic really all that different?

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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