Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Call TODAY for voting rights in Wisconsin!

All legislators in the state Assembly (Republicans AND Democrats) need to hear from their constituents by Thursday, October 29th at noon on the Wisconsin Democracy Restoration Act. Voters who demand that they vote YES for AB 353 could help the bill get a floor vote this session and restore voting rights to over 42,000 Wisconsin citizens.

It’s this simple: It comes down to you making one phone call or sending one email.


“I am your constituent and I support AB353 the Wisconsin Democracy Restoration Act. I want you to vote YES and restore the vote in Wisconsin!”

Find your Assembly representative at the Who Are My Legislators? website

Some important things to know about the legislation:

- Wisconsin law bars individuals with felony convictions from voting while incarcerated and while on probation, parole or extended supervision. The Wisconsin State Legislature is currently considering legislation, known as the Wisconsin Democracy Restoration Act, that would restore the right to vote to individuals upon release from incarceration. This law would enfranchise the over 42,000 Wisconsin citizens who live in the community, work and pay taxes but are unable to participate in the political process.

- Disfranchisement is unfair and un-American. Over 42,000 Wisconsin citizens living, working, raising families and paying taxes in Wisconsin are barred from voting due to a past felony conviction.

- Disfranchisement perpetuates Jim Crow in Wisconsin. Racial disparities in Wisconsin’s criminal justice system mean that 1 in 9 African Americans in Wisconsin cannot vote compared to 1 in 50 of all Wisconsin citizens.

- Voting may make us safer. Studies show that ex-offenders who do not vote re-offend at a rate of 27%, ex-offenders who vote re-offend at a rate of 12%.

- Wisconsin voters support enfranchisement. A May 2009 poll showed that 57% of Wisconsinites support automatic, post-sentence enfranchisement.

- We need to simplify the voting process and save taxpayer dollars. Enfranchising people upon release from incarceration streamlines the restoration process, conserves government resources and saves taxpayer dollars.

- Wisconsin has more restrictive felony disfranchisement laws than 20 other states, including neighboring Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.


Wanna do more?
Call your State Senator as well and forward this to 5 friends!

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