Voting Rights Under Attack – Share Your Ballot Drop Box Stories
Earlier today I held a press conference to call attention to the attacks on voting rights, and particularly on our secure ballot drop boxes, in Wisconsin. I was joined by the Rev. Dr. Marcus Allen Sr., the Pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church; Denise Jess, Executive Director at Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired; and Christine Neumann Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, the only grassroots group in the state who was subpoenaed and is under investigation by Attorney Gableman. Below are my remarks (as prepared). You can watch the video of the press conference here. I encourage anyone who has used one of Madison's secure ballot drop boxes to share your stories with me – email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why you used a drop box and what your voting experience was like.
Hi everyone, thank you for joining us here today. We are here to talk about voting rights, voter suppression and the wrongheaded decision made by the Wisconsin Supreme Court last week to change course in the middle of an election and to lock the state’s secure ballot drop boxes like this one here in front of Fire Station 3.
The Supreme Court’s decision to allow for ballot drop boxes in today’s February Primary but disallow them for the April general election, without any evidence of wrongdoing or any explanation of their reasoning, is sure to generate confusion and frustration on behalf of voters.
Drop boxes are a convenient and safe way of making sure your ballot is counted. They are used in hundreds of communities across Wisconsin, and all across the country, without incident. But now the WI legislature and the courts are considering locking them up or ripping them out of the ground. This is partisan politics run amok. No one thought that drop boxes were a threat to democracy until five cities – Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine – had them installed to keep voters safe and make it easier to vote during the pandemic. This attack on voting rights was launched by a right-wing legal group called the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty that is unhappy that we are expanding the franchise to more and more voters.
Let’s be clear: this is a coordinated attack on our democracy, and a clear attempt to keep some people from voting.
These five cities that have been targeted represent 75% of all African-American voters, 44% of all Latinx voters, and 47% of all voters of color in the state. We must call this lawsuit, the Vos/Gableman investigation, and the other attacks what they are: racist voter suppression.
These attacks in Wisconsin are part of a national pattern of legislation and lawsuits designed to erode voting rights. We need Congress to pass strong voting rights legislation now.
Here in Madison, we will not let these attacks stop us from doing everything we can to make it safe, secure and easy to vote – in April and every election to come.
There are so many reasons why people want to use ballot drop boxes to vote. I encourage anyone who has used one of Madison's secure ballot drop boxes to share your stories with me – email email@example.com and tell us why you used a drop box and what your voting experience was like.