10.26.16

Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Reps. Gwen Moore, Ron Kind and Mark Pocan Urge U.S Department of Justice to Assist in Overseeing Wisconsin’s Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tammy Baldwin along with Representatives Gwen Moore, Ron Kind and Mark Pocan, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting assistance in overseeing Wisconsin’s monitoring of the election, including providing poll-monitoring services in the state. The request was spurred by Wisconsin’s contentious and discriminatory Voter ID Law and a political environment that has become increasingly intimidating for voters.

“The state’s 2011 voter identification law, one of the strictest in the country, has been repeatedly challenged in federal court due to its discriminatory effects on vulnerable populations’ voting rights.  Due to the law’s contentious nature and poor implementation, coupled with a political environment that is becoming increasingly intimidating, we are requesting the Department of Justice’s assistance in overseeing the state’s monitoring of the election, including by providing poll-monitoring services in Wisconsin,” wrote the lawmakers. “We have continued to see how Wisconsin’s voter ID law puts the franchise of many Wisconsinites, particularly people of color, in real jeopardy. Over the last month, press reports have revealed that on numerous occasions, Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicle employees provided erroneous and incomplete information to potential voters who are unable to obtain IDs due to a lack of required documentation (like a birth certificate), despite their eligibility for alternative credentials.”

In addition, they asked the U.S. Department of Justice for resources and assistance in Wisconsin, writing, “We ask the Department to provide any resources or assistance it can in order to help our state navigate these unsettling circumstances.  For example, the Department has historically provided poll monitors on Election Day to help ensure that all eligible voters will be permitted to register and exercise their fundamental right to participate in our democracy. We therefore urge the Department of Justice to utilize any available election monitoring resources to ensure voters in Wisconsin are able to safely access the polls.”

A copy of the letter the lawmakers sent is available here