After years of working diligently to consolidate Republican power and undermine basic democratic process in his state, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Friday signed a bill consolidating Republican power and undermining basic democratic process in his state. The bill, passed by the state legislature earlier this month, will limit Walker’s Democratic successor’s power and roll back early voting in the state.
The legislation will significantly curb powers of governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul.
More from Reuters:
It would also limit Evers’ ability to pass administrative rules and block him from killing a provision that would impose a work requirement on Medicaid recipients. In addition, the legislation would allow lawmakers to sidestep the attorney general’s office in litigation involving the state.
But that’s not all—the legislation, a blatant power grab to tip the scales in Republicans’ favor, limits early voting and hands over more control to the Republican-led state legislature, the Journal-Sentinel reports:
Among the numerous provisions included in the legislation are ones that would limit early voting to two weeks; give Republicans more control of the state agency overseeing job creation; curtail the governor’s ability to write state rules and adjust public benefits programs; and allow lawmakers to replace the attorney general with private attorneys at taxpayer expense.
The early voting limit is similar to one struck down by a federal judge in 2016. Republicans said they believed the new early voting restrictions would survive a court challenge because weekend and evening voting would be allowed during the two weeks of early voting.
Michigan, which elected Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, is trying to pull the same shit. Republicans there are moving to limit the powers of the incoming governor, attorney general and secretary of state, all of whom are Democrats.
The strategy is a new tactic in the Republican voter suppression playbook. Chris Ott, executive director of ACLU of Wisconsin recently told Jezebel that the party is “so entrenched by gerrymandering that they don’t think they have to listen to their constituents.”
This is what that looks like in practice.