Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Restore the Vote Now - Wisconsin "Democracy Restoration Act" would end taxation without representation

The Restore the Vote Wisconsin NOW! Coalition announced on July 3 the circulation of an important voting rights bill in our state legislature and encourages legislators from both sides to the aisle to co-sponsor it. The Wisconsin Democracy Restoration Act will enfranchise more than 42,000 Wisconsin citizens who live, work, go to school, raise families and pay taxes in our communities.

“Without a vote, citizens have no voice," said Sheila Cochran, President of the Milwaukee County Labor Council/AFL-CIO. "Encouraging active participation in our democratic society is an essential part of the reentry process for ex-offenders returning to their home communities. The exercise of that responsibility to society can foster safer communities for all of us.”

The Restore the Vote Now coalition is a group of over 70 organizations who have committed to public education and direct action to restore the right to vote in Wisconsin. Nationally, voting rights for people with felony convictions are being restored on a bi-partisan basis as state legislatures and governors increasingly recognize the discriminatory implications of denying any US citizen voting rights. In Wisconsin, the Restore the Vote Wisconsin NOW! (RTV-WIN!) coalition has brought together citizens, civil rights, law enforcement, labor, faith and community organizations groups committed to working for fairness and the fundamentally American right and responsibility to cast a ballot.

“The Restore the Vote Wisconsin NOW! coalition will be encouraging legislators to sign onto and quickly pass this important and timely bill,” said Renee Crawford, Associate Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin and coalition organizer. “On the day we celebrate our independence, we also thank the State Senator Lena Taylor and State Assembly Representative Tamara Grigsby for their patriotic legislation to end taxation without representation for 42,000 Wisconsin citizens.”

For more info on the RTV-WIN Coalition including a list of the more than 70 organizations who have signed onto the coalition, go to For more information about the work of the ACLU to restore voting rights to ex-offenders, please visit the national ACLU voting rights page.

Cross-posted with the ACLU of Wisconsin's Cap City Liberty blog.