The Republican Party of Wisconsin is waging a war on free and fair elections. They lost at the ballot box in 2020, and instead of tweaking their policies and proposals to appeal to a broader group of voters, they are opting to suppress the number of voters who are less likely to vote Republican.
One of the ways in which the GOP is waging war on elections is by attacking private grants given to Wisconsin cities to help them run elections. In his bogus “investigation” into the 2020 election, bumbling attorney Michael Gableman derided these grants repeatedly. On February 24, the Republican-led Assembly passed a Joint Resolution that would prohibit private donations to help Wisconsin cities run elections smoothly. The stated GOP reason is that these grants went to five Wisconsin cities, and all those cities are run by Democratic Mayors. The (false) implication, of course, is that the money was secretly meant to turn out Democrats and not Republicans.
The truth is much simpler, obvious, and less nefarious. The cities that received the grants- Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay- are the five largest cities in Wisconsin. They needed help with election administration for the simple fact that they have the most voters. I know the GOP would prefer to pretend that the COVID pandemic doesn’t exist but I for one remember the entire city of Milwaukee having only five polling locations open for the spring 2020 election.
It takes very little brainpower to understand why the five largest cities in the state would need help navigating a presidential election during a once-in-a-century pandemic. The grant money was not a partisan exercise to turn out more Democratic votes. It was simply to help large cities administer elections during a challenging cycle.
Don’t just take my word for it. See for yourself. These are the amounts of the grants and what they went to:
Not exactly outrageous or partisan goals. Just funding to help ensure safe voting and to make sure people who were eligible to vote knew what they needed to do to cast their ballots.
This once again shows the disdain that Wisconsin Republicans have for fair elections. They see these grants as a plot to help Democrats, therefore it must be destroyed. They are willing to do as much damage to election administration as they can if it means that even one fewer Democrat is able to vote.
We are in a very dangerous place in Wisconsin politics. Republicans are trying to bend reality to align with their conspiracy-addled minds. They have gerrymandered themselves a majority and combined with the fact that their members are increasingly going off the rails, I worry for the future of democracy in Wisconsin. We cannot let apathy or indifference take control- we must actively fight back against these attacks on democracy.