September 08, 2011

American Citizens Who Don't Speak English Shouldn't Vote?

MILWAUKEE-Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Latino Caucus Chair Julio Guerrero following news of voter suppression tactics at Scott Walker administration DMV offices.

"First, Scott Walker passed a bill deliberately intended to sow confusion and suppress votes. Then he doubled down on this anti-democratic practice by instructing DMV employees not to tell people applying for IDs that they must be free, lest they constitute an unconstitutional "poll tax." Then, to further sow confusion or perhaps ameliorate the situation, he had his DMVs put up a few signs in English about the fact the IDs are free, as they must be to past constitutional muster.

The problem is that the news apparently isn't intended for any American citizen who doesn't speak English, and not just Latinos but people who came from Laos or Poland to become American citizens. Or for blind people. Or for people with learning disabilities. There are several communities affected by this voter suppression. Is this deliberate?

Judging by the anti-immigrant legislation they are flirting with, there is no great well of respect for Latinos from Scott Walker Republicans.

But here we are talking about American citizens, many of whom have shed their blood for their country and all of whom are due their right to the franchise. It looks very much like in Scott Walker's Wisconsin, American citizens who don't speak English are treated as second-class and need go to the back of the bus. Jim Crow has come to Wisconsin in the 21st Century."