Ah the ironies of the Wisconsin Republicans…. they are busy passing restrictive voter ID laws, as billboards rumored to be associated with the Tea Party crop up warning “VOTER FRAUD is a FELONY!”, but today it is a Republican legislative aide who is under investigation for voter fraud for voting in Onalaska although she lives in Madison.
Yes, it’s true. Marcie Malszycki, a Republican legislative aide who works for the guy who co-sponsored the voter ID bill, allegedly voted improperly for Scott Walker – well, actually she allegedly violated the election law in 2008 and 2010, sort of an allegedly running scam if you will. I know, you’re shocked.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported:
A Republican legislative aide is under investigation for possible vote fraud after she cast her ballot in the November election in
La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke said he has forwarded the report from the Onalaska Police Department to Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne to see if criminal charges are warranted against Marcie Malszycki, 30, an aide to state Rep. Warren Petryk, R-Eleva.
Records from the Government Accountability Board show Malszycki voted in Onalaska on Nov. 2, 2010, and Nov. 4, 2008, at the same time she had a home in Madison and worked at the state Capitol. Messages left with Malszycki by email, phone and Facebook weren’t returned.
Before the November election, Malszycki worked on the campaign of 92nd Assembly District candidate Dennis Clinard. The district lies just northeast of Onalaska….
According to the Onalaska police report, Malszycki voted after her mother signed an affidavit saying she had lived at her home for two months. Residents must live in a district for 10 days to be eligible to vote. Malszycki told an Onalaska police officer that a pollworker told her it would be OK to vote and that “her intent that day was to cast a vote, not do anything wrong.”
This gets better. Malszycki works for Republican state Rep. Warren Petryk (Eleva), who co-sponsored the voter ID bill that passed the Senate Thursday.
I’m sure the Republicans will scream “political attack” seeing as they meant this voter ID bill to target the “other” people and we all should have known that. The laws, you see, are for the students, minorities and seniors. You know, the people who shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they don’t vote for Republicans.
Walker defended the controversial voter ID bill by saying, “Requiring photo identification to vote will go a long way to eliminate the threat of voter fraud,” Walker said. “If you need an ID to buy cold medicine, it’s reasonable to require it to vote.”
Earlier, the Wisconsin State Journal reported on the restrictive voter ID law, which would be the most restrictive in the country:
The legislation, which proponents say will prevent people from voting illegally, would give Wisconsin arguably the most restrictive voter identification law in the country. According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, it could cost more than $5.7 million to implement.
Under the bill, a voter would have to present a driver’s license, a state ID, a passport, a military ID, naturalization papers or a tribal ID. College students could vote with a school ID as long as it has their signature and an expiration date within two years of the card’s issuance. University of Wisconsin IDs currently do not meet that criteria and would have to be updated to comply before students could use them to vote….
Other changes would take effect immediately, including requiring voters to sign poll books and to live at their current address for 28 days rather than 10 days before they could cast a ballot.
Oh, my. See, the voter ID law championed by Republicans to shut down Democratic turnout aims itself squarely at the kind of thing Malszycki did.
If Malszycki weren’t being accused of doing exactly what her Republican boss aimed the voter ID law at, this might not seem like a big deal. However, it brings back up the real issue that Wisconsin only had 20 cases of voter fraud that were prosecuted and most of those didn’t involve people using the wrong name, so the expensive voter ID bill Republicans are enacting is nothing more than a waste of tax dollars meant to disenfranchise a certain segment of the population (20% of Wisconsinites do not have the required ID to vote under this law; 55% of African American men and 46% of Latino men do not have state driver’s licenses).
Cue the claims that it’s being applied too seriously in the case of Malszycki, who reportedly was in Onalaska temporarily and should have voted from her Madison address. But Talking Points Memo reported on the billboards cropping up around Wisconsin screaming that voter fraud is a felony, subject to $10,000 in fines and 3 years in jail:
The Wisconsin GOP confirmed to Talking Points Memo that documents released by One Wisconsin Now this week outlining a coordinated campaign between the party, a Tea Party group and the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity to address the organizations’ fear of voter fraud originated from his office. But a spokesman said the initiative has since been scrapped and the groups have no plans to work together.
The head of the state chapter of AFP maintained his group was never associated with any coordinated voter fraud effort, despite documents to the contrary indicating they were planning mail out postcards intended to clean up voter registration lists, promote a tool to check on a voter’s status and to purchase billboards featuring anti-voter fraud messages.
Now a number of billboards which say they are funded by “A Private Family Foundation” have popped up around the state that feature the slogan “VOTER FRAUD is a FELONY!” and feature images of two women of indeterminate race and an African-American man behind bars. The billboards warns Wisconsin residents they could be subjected to up to three years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Is it a felony when a white Republican does it? Unless the Republicans pursue this alleged criminal with the same vigor with which they seek to implement their new voter ID law, it would seem they are are proving the allegation that they are hypocrites whose intention is to use taxpayer money to disenfranchise Democratic voters rather than to protect the state from voter fraud.
Perhaps Wisconsinites can chime in here as to why a Republican would rather vote in Onalaska than in Democratic leaning Madison.