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Keyes reports: "Voter ID will not be in effect for today's recall vote in Wisconsin, but that won't stop last year's anti-voter bill from disenfranchising thousands of students across the state."

Student voters cast their ballots in the Wisconsin presidential primary at Memorial Union's Tripp Commons at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 02/19/08. (photo: Bryce Richter)
Student voters cast their ballots in the Wisconsin presidential primary at Memorial Union's Tripp Commons at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 02/19/08. (photo: Bryce Richter)

How Republicans Prevented Thousands of Wisconsin Students From Voting

By Scott Keyes, ThinkProgress

05 June 12


oter ID will not be in effect for today's recall vote in Wisconsin, but that won't stop last year's anti-voter bill from disenfranchising thousands of students across the state.

A year ago, Wisconsin Republicans pushed through Assembly Bill 7, which enacted one of the worst forms of voter ID in the nation. Since then, two state judges have blocked voter ID from taking effect because the Wisconsin state Constitution guarantees that "every United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident of an election district in this state is a qualified elector of that district," regardless of whether or not they have an ID.

However, a little-noticed provision in AB 7 will likely prevent thousands of college students from voting in today's recall election.

Section 12 of the new law increases the time period a citizen must live in one location in order to register there from 10 days to 28 days. Though seemingly innocuous, the problem is that the five largest colleges in Wisconsin - University of Wisconsin-Madison (40,000 students), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (27,500 students), Marquette University (11,500 students), University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (11,500 students), and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (11,000 students) - all had their graduations either the weekend of May 12 or the weekend of May 19, 24 days and 17 days ago, respectively.

Therefore, any student at these schools who registered to vote at school but is now home for the summer will not be permitted to update their registration at their parents' house because they will have been home for less than 28 days. Under the old law, a student not on campus for the summer would have been permitted to update her registration at the polls and vote because she will have been home (or elsewhere off-campus) for more than 10 days.

As a result, thousands of Wisconsin students will likely be barred from taking part in today's recall vote.

Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug LaFollette worried about the impact it could have on turnout. "It will really have a negative impact among college students," LaFollette told ThinkProgress. your social media marketing partner


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+34 # JNWesner 2012-06-05 15:39
Crafty devils, those. I wonder how many other states have, or will have, implemented this sneaky trick.
+30 # Lyn 2012-06-05 16:54
Take a look at Florida.
-5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-06-06 10:24
That can be changed, if you live there and do not you are no better Changes are up to You no one else
-15 # Noni77 2012-06-06 02:23
Most, it is a normal time period which almost all states use. Nothing "crafty" about it. I've lived in about a dozen states. Your paranoia is showing.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-06-06 10:26
Not ture. The students could have gone back to vote, in fact they should have been made aware of mail in votes. There are normal times, but students have finals, so I guess with no one telling them it was a time to get ready to take finals then graduate.
People like you should make awareness instead of not
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-06-06 10:23
Find out and make awareness now that you know, not to make the students and the Democratic legislator aware...makes you know better than the GOP or their lawyers
+34 # smilodon1 2012-06-05 19:24
This is truly evil. Of course it was enacted by the Fascist Wing of the Republican Party.
+38 # Doubter 2012-06-05 22:47
"Fascist Wing?" Pray tell, what other kind of wing does today's Rep party have? The clueless wing? If so, it doesn't seem to cripple them. The SOB wing is flapping the clueless right on to finish taking this country over. (and finish it off)
+6 # newsmom 2012-06-06 06:41
Quoting Doubter:
"Fascist Wing?" Pray tell, what other kind of wing does today's Rep party have? The clueless wing? If so, it doesn't seem to cripple them. The SOB wing is flapping the clueless right on to finish taking this country over. (and finish it off)

and don't forget the hooker wing: bought and paid for by the highest bidder.
+12 # newsmom 2012-06-06 06:45
The Democrats ought to be ashamed of themselves: they waited until the last minute to send in a big gun in the person of former president Clinton. But where were they on the ground leading up to Crucial Tuesday. This is heartbreaking. If we can't find a way to get more folks to tbe polls in November we've got a dreary 4-year future ahead of us.
+42 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2012-06-05 21:59
WE WILL NOT GO AWAY!!! Everybody in every state; lets get our boots on the ground and get it going for November. To the Wisconsinites who saw the light and tried to recall Walker, WE ARE WITH YOU! FIGHT ON! FIGHT ON! FIGHT ON!
+12 # brianf 2012-06-05 23:35
The only way Republicans have been able to win elections for decades is by lying and cheating.
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-06-06 10:27
You all let them You can make changes, in fact you have to now or .....
+7 # de_rougemont 2012-06-06 01:31
This Republican law sets up the backlash of all backlashes. The presidential election is in November --get ready for all those disenfranchised students to vote pay-back. The right to vote should not be infringed upon or made dependent on party affiliation (or expected party affiliation).
-13 # Noni77 2012-06-06 02:20
The whole country is going bankrupt, the dollar is on the verge of collapse - such so that a few states are even investigating returning to a gold and silver currency! (That means, if the dollar loses half its value, everything will cost you TWICE as much). EVERYONE has to tighten their belts because the PARTY is OVER! And you are demonizing one of the very few politicians who is NOT a coward? If YOUR job were at stake, would you just accept that YOU had to be fired so others could "live the life", or would you hope that your job and everyone elses could be spared in hard times IF your "tolerant and generous" co-workers ALL TOGETHER gave up a few pay increases or even took a slight pay cut? The Greatest Generation pulled together and sacrificed to make sure we won WW II. I guess you want to be known as the selfish, unrealistic generation? The generation that destroyed America because we went bankrupt, the dollar lost ALL value, and our country was taken over by wiser and fiscally frugal powerhouses - like CHINA, whose currency now IS backed by GOLD. Ours is NOT! Right now it is backed by blowhard hyper spendering politicians with King-complexes, who loot the US Treasury to buy your votes. When China succeeds in getting the feeble and faultering US dollar removed as the World Reserve Currency - you will be living in a world of hurt, a third world of hurt like you haven't ever imagined. $100 bills will be toilet paper. Read about the rapid devaluation of currencies in history.
+5 # dkonstruction 2012-06-06 10:38
Noni 77, even if i agreed with your comment (which i don't) what does it have to do with the political disenfranchisem ent of college students? College students live in the community in which their college is located for at least 9 months out of the year which means they should have the right to delcare it as their legal primary residence and thus have the right to vote there. Are you saying students should not have the right to vote in the community in which there college is located and if so on what grounds?

As for Govenor Walker and the state of the US economy as a whole...blaming public sector workers, as Walker does, for our economic woes is simply not true; public sector workers (or private sector union workers) are not the cause of our economic woes. What's the evidence for such a claim? As for the party being over...what party...i certainly wasn't invited and neither were the rest of the 99%...and, the country is not going bankrupt...this is just more right wing fear mongering...and , most of that deficit is the result of over a decade of wars against countries that never attacked us or even threatened to as well as the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. The "greatest generation" "pulled together and sacrificed" as you put it because the US was attacked. Our current deficits have been wracked up by the 1% and the congress which they have bought and paid for so let them pull together and sacrifice and leave the rest of us alone.
+4 # Skeeziks 2012-06-06 05:17
Good point Mr. Keys. Anyone dig into this to find how many students were actually barred from voting?
Me? I just don't have enough money.
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-06-06 10:29
You only have to start the Democratic Procedure to ask under the Right to Know Act to all those Senators who left the State. They should have been sending people to the Schools to remind them
Shame on Democrats...per haps besides OB not time to vote for other Democrats let them become one of us...because Republicans will not be hiring them
-1 # 2012-06-06 06:15
While the provisions of the law are unfair, the effect would be fairly minimal.

Many student voters never register at their university location and remain registered at home.

For those who do register at school locations, students may return to the school location on voting day or request an absentee ballot. From reportage on the recall vote, absentee balloting was quite common and extensively used by the Barrett campaign.

The law should be trashed since it does place an unnecessary burden on one class of voters but the claim that it would prevent thousands of generally pro-Barrett voters from voting is overblown.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-06-06 10:33
Very True Most Colleges like HS have Party Club which should have reminded them. If they were not, I do hope they know where to vote from in Nov because Wisconsin Students are not the only made an A__ of in these Elections. GOP are making an a-- of all. Most on here do nothing but support, no Marches, no Organizing just run of mouth.

The impact it may have made, is sad, most kids ready for finals, getting other stuff done, getting job apps, next college, home, then graduation. They should have been emailed or called as reminder just the same. Every Vote Counts
0 # MidwestTom 2012-06-06 06:33
Who selected the recall date? When the law changed the recall had not even been considered. Plus, I wonder how many students actually register at their school rather than their home. Which brings up the other obvious question, should a student from Illinois going to school in Wisconsin be allowed to
vote in q state election?
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-06-06 10:35
As long as they are there the required time, yes. No different from a Service Person who may have Stateside Duty and start in Carolina then get NJ one must register and pay attention.

If I am living in Mo for time period, paying rent and taxes in that State you better believe I am going to find the Poll, and sign up It is a Right.
+12 # Bill Clements 2012-06-06 08:24
When Republicans and Tea Baggers claim freedom and liberty as their mantle, tactics like these exposes such a claim for the lie that it is. And to add insult to injury, they have the temerity to claim that they're "patriotic."

The truth is that the GOP is a thoroughly bankrupt and corrupt party. They have no ideas to offer the country and thus, can only hope to win power by obscenely subverting the democratic process by disenfranchisin g those who don't share their "vision" of America.
+8 # TimeToEvolve 2012-06-06 08:47
This was the plan all along" to get Republicon governors in and then do massive election fraud. This is the only way Republicons can win because they represent such a small number of Americans.

And you know how you can tell they are doing this? Because they are claiming voter fraud to cover their crimes. This is how they roll.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-06-06 10:37
Time to make changes. Kids should have been on a email or phone call list. I hope they seize their chance in November and get rid of the GOP/TP in fact I hope they start a whole new Party For the People.

For all of you who did nothing....easy to rant isn't it
0 # tomo 2012-06-08 00:14
By now, the people of Wisconsin have shot themselves through the brain--but one has to wonder if that organ was functioning even before the bullet hit it.

Regarding the vote of the 18-year-olds being impeded, of course that's bad. Truth is though, folks, there's less and less to vote for.

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