The draconian voter suppression bill, SB 324, is now law after Gov. Scott Walker tweaked it to allow 10 more clerking hours during the two-week early voting window with no weekend hours.

The Republican-sponsored bill further shortened the absentee ballot season and what is viewed as an attempt to hinder voters in the big cities (read Democratic voters.)

However, given the harsh nature of the bill which restricts in-person absentee voting to one site per municipality during weekday hours in the week prior to the election there is a chance it could trigger a Section 2 lawsuit along with an injunction prior to the fall voting season.

That is just a hope at this point. I think there should be a backup plan, a Plan V, if you will.

The law allows for weekend voting by appointment. Appointment is not defined. The law does state that the applications be received personally by the municipal clerk, rather than an underling.

And the law confines the weekend voting to the weekend prior to the weekend before the election.

Okay, some of you see where I am going with this.

Why not turn that weekend into an election weekend and flood the clerk's offices with appointments? Activist organizations and unions could distribute absentee ballot applications in the weeks prior to the weekend and take names so they can present a list of voters needing appointments to the various municipal clerks.

Some clerks may not be receptive to such a scheme but hey, the law is the law. The goal should be to flood the offices with “appointees” necessitating a Saturday and Sunday polling period similar to a regular election.

Smaller cities such as La Crosse or Janesville may only require one of the two days but Milwaukee and Madison could easily book an entire weekend.

It is a great organizing tool. Democratic candidates could hand out applications at their campaign stops and talk up the early voting option. Churches could resurrect their “Souls to the Polls” Sunday and bus their voters downtown.

Let's give it a name. Voting Rights Weekend. Or Voter Pushback Weekend.

As in many endeavors of this kind, the story is not in the scheme itself, but in the reaction to it.

Republicans will cry foul and will send out their trolls (or thugs) to all of the voting sites to look for some kind of infraction to say nothing of other roadblocks they may invent. This is where the Kodak moments are generated. There may even be some Republican clerks who turn into refuseniks. But the idea of polls being blocked in any fashion is publicity gold and will reveal the real motives behind the law.



Submitted by Dan Wilson on