Rachel Maddow: Voting Is A Right, Just Like Gay Marriage (Video)
Monday night, Rachel Maddow was positively giddy about the Supreme Court's decision to let stand lower courts' pro-marriage equality rulings. By Tuesday, she was wondering whether federal courts would figure out that voting is supposed to be a fairly absolute right as well.
The 7th Circuit federal appeals court recently upheld Wisconsin's brand-new voter-ID law -- an especially disruptive decision, considering the election is just four weeks away and absentee voting has already begun. So now, the state is going to try to contact absentee voters to let them know that if they don't include a copy of an approved ID card with their mail-in ballot, their votes won't count. People who have already returned absentee ballots will have to get a copy of their IDs to their county clerk in order for their votes to count.
It's chaos, and likely to disenfranchise thousands of voters. Just to make things that little bit extra-terrible, Wisconsin also hasn't budgeted a dime to explain the new voting rules or help voters deal with the new rules. But hey, keeping people from voting is what the voter ID law was all about anyway, so that's all to the good, right? An appeal to the Supreme Court for an emergency injunction has been filed, so it's possible that this idiotic law may at least be put on hold until after the midterms, but the prospects don't fill Maddow with a lot of confidence. "Just as fast as gay rights are expanding, voting rights are taking a beating."
It's infuriating and so far, working out just as Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans planned. Imagine that.
And for an on-the-ground perspective, Maddow interviewed Wisconsin state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, who is both astonished at the clusterfuck and not especially surprised. His hope is that if Democrats are allowed to vote, they'll be mad enough to change this mess.
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