Republican congressman says voter ID will help party win Wisconsin in November

Psst! You aren’t supposed to say this part out loud!

As returns were coming in from last night’s Wisconsin primary, Republican congressman Glenn Grothman told Milwaukee’s TMJ4 that he felt his party could win the state in November for the first time since 1984 because they had a new advantage this year.

You see, not only is Hillary Clinton a weak candidate, according to him, but, “now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is gonna make a little bit of a difference as well.”

Voter ID proponents typically say that the laws are designed to protect the integrity of elections. But Wisconsin’s photo ID law, along with other voting restrictions that have been the subject of a lawsuit from a group of lawyers affiliated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign, can be better understood as being designed to simply make it harder to vote.

Congressman Glenn Grothman (R - WI), on the right, screenshot via YouTube

Congressman Glenn Grothman (R – WI), on the right, screenshot via YouTube

For instance, states requiring photo IDs usually couple the requirement with a provision for the state to provide IDs to those who don’t have them, but according to the Brennan Center for Justice (emphasis theirs), “the only ID issuing office in Sauk City, Wisconsin is open 8:15 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the fifth Wednesday of each month. There are only 4 fifth Wednesdays in 2016.”

The state also recently approved a measure that coupled online voter registration with a provision effectively banning third-party voter registration drives. As I wrote at the time, the dual changes represent “the same logic that would lead a city to get rid of its bus lines after building a subway.”

This isn’t the first time that a Republican lawmaker has let slip that voter ID is intended to do what everyone already knows it’s intended to do. Here’s Pennsylvania House Republican Majority Leader Mike Turzai in 2012, on how his work during the previous legislative term would “allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania:”

For these Republicans, there isn’t any contradiction between the election integrity justification and the Republican victory justification for voter ID laws. They simply don’t believe that Democrats can win without cheating. Of course, there is zero evidence of voter impersonation fraud at any significant scale, and it would be next to impossible to organize an in-person voter fraud operation large enough to swing, say, a congressional race. But that doesn’t matter. They feel it in their guts that Democratic victories are illegitimate, and they need to use the levers of policy to correct for their electoral failures.

Sometimes, they just can’t help themselves and tell it like it is.

(h/t Independent Journal)


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • Idarreed

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  • Badgerite

    Would that they would have been forced to speak the truth in the many court challenges against those laws. Not that the justices didn’t already know their purpose. They did. And ignored it.
    See the new hastag for the Anton Scalia School of Law at George Mason University.
    #ASSLAW. And it only cost $30 million.

  • Mary Lang

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  • For some time Democrats have focused on the White House and nothing else. Meanwhile we lost statehouses in blue states like Michigan and Wisconsin and look at the results of that. Oh and Florida. A known welfare fraudster got re-elected? Yes, because we ran a shitty candidate. Gerrymandering is the result of giving up on the gubernatorial and state legislature races. And look at the results. This goes back to the 90s. Democrats picked up seats in 1998 even though there was not much effort by the DNC or much fundraising by Bill Clinton to help them. (Yeah, I know he was busy with the whole impeachment thing but backlash against those hearings is part of what helped Democrats locally that year.) What could have happened with a little effort.

    Fire Debbie Wassermans Schulz. She’s corrupt and incompetent.

  • crazymonkeylady

    Even Stone Jesus weeps…

  • crazymonkeylady

    Sadly, those of us who care about what’s right and what’s good in America do NOT count. And it is a shame and a crime against the People.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The courts and Congress, including the Supremes, respond to public pressure when it comes to making decisions regarding voter rights, LGBTQ rights, women’s reproductive rights, and civil rights. Their decisions are a reflection of the level of opposition to union busting, racism, misogyny and homophobia and not the political affiliations of judges.

    That public pressure is the sole reason for the passage of Bown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) which was the product of steady pressure by the black community and by propaganda by the USSR and by leftists abroad who depicted the US as a racist backwater. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. (1973) and Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) were likewise influenced by domestic and foreign politics, not by the party affiliation of the Supremes, who are, after all, just robed politicians.

    The pro-marriage decisions by the state Supremes in Massachusetts and California were rendered by Republican judges. What that means is that in those cases, according to the analysis of some Democrats, their own party was not the ‘lesser evil’ in those two cases. The truth is that the level of pressure by movements for change and not the party affliction of judges is what determines their decisions.

  • Bill_Perdue

    This is a moot point. It has no relevancy. Elections don’t count and voting doesn’t count.

    Even Jon Green doesn’t attempt to deny the accuracy and relevancy of Gilens and Page.

    “A new scientific study from Princeton researcher Martin Gilens and Northwestern researcher Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.

    Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often. It’s beyond alarming.

    As Gilens and Page write, ‘the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.’ In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.” http://mic.com/articles/87719/princeton-concludes-what-kind-of-government-america-really-has-and-it-s-not-a-democracy

  • MerryMarjie

    Yep. I kinda thought this sort of thing was criminal, but what do I know, I’m just a citizen.

  • An admission of intent to suppress voters. If only we still had a working Dept of Justice.

  • sean

    how do they expect us to steal the election if they make us get an ID to vote. Not fair, we depend on those dead voters :)

  • Phil in FLL

    Yet another reason why the ability to fill seats in the federal judiciary (including SCOTUS) is so vital. The federal judiciary, as a branch of government, determines which voter restriction laws are unconstitutional. The stupid award (or the hypocrisy award) goes to the fool who said that people shouldn’t vote because of Supreme Court vacancies because Supreme Court justices are all magically coerced into voting for progressive goals because of pressure from “mass movements.” Antonin Scalia (as well as Thomas and Alito) was never pressured into siding with progressives on voting rights or any other issue in his entire career. Some lies are easily disproven.

  • Lying about the obvious motives and intentions for regressive and oppressive legislation is the norm in the Republican party these days.

    – Voter ID laws: Said to be to ‘protect against voter fraud’ which does not exist in any statistically significant numbers. Real reason is to suppress minority voters, young voters, and poor voters.
    – Forced pregnancy laws: Said to be to ‘protect women’s health’. Real reason is simply to outlaw reproductive rights by regulating it out of existence.
    – Anti-LGBT laws: Billed now as ‘protecting religious freedom.’ Real reason is simply to make it legal to discriminate against LGBT Americans based on nothing but an assertion of beliefs…and as we saw in North Carolina, to attempt to eliminate the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws for everyone else as well.

    The list goes on and on, but I think got its start as a regular practice during the Reagan era, when Republicans began labeling bills as doing one thing when the intent was for them to accomplish the exact opposite.

  • sean

    How does he expect the Democrat party to steal the election with a voter ID? Us Democrats depend on dead people, illegals, and multiple votes to win.

  • emjayay

    The DNC is silent and tone deaf.

  • Ol’ Hippy

    So it seems the corruption of the GOP is now being flaunted by members of the party, all in the name of securing votes. The DOJ needs to get involved to keep these draconian “jumping-through-hoops” measures from being enacted on citizens throughout the country. Voter fraud was never an issue until the GOP started losing elections by wide margins instead of winning by wide margins.

  • They want us to keep voting for them yet they don’t seem to care about these things.

  • basenjilover

    and DNC silent and tone deaf on Republican’s blatant gerrymandering.

  • The media and the DNC are too silent on voter supression right now.

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