WISCONSINREPORT.COM (10/13/2009) - Restore the Vote Wisconsin NOW (RTV-WIN) Coalition members are testifying to the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Labor, Elections and Urban Affairs Tuesday, October 13, 2009 in support of a voting rights bill. The Wisconsin Democracy Restoration Act would enfranchise more than 42,000 Wisconsin citizens who live, work, go to school, raise families and pay taxes in our communities.
"When the Wisconsin Democracy Restoration Act sees a floor vote, we hope the Wisconsin legislature will put partisanship aside and cast a vote for democracy," said Renee Crawford, Associate Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin.
"After then Texas Governor George W. Bush enfranchised ex-felons in 1997, bipartisan efforts to advance voting rights were successful in 20 states all across the country, 15 of which were led by Republican Governors," Crawford continued.
"The Wisconsin Democracy Restoration Act is good for everyone involved in the political process," Crawford added.
The bill may be gaining momentum in the legislature after a four-hour long hearing in the state Assembly on August 27th when nearly 70 bill supporters, voting rights advocates and experts on the criminal justice system testified or registered in favor of the bill.
Testimonies outlined how voting rights and laws are impacted by Wisconsinís disproportionate minority incarceration rate and other institutionalized bias.
The Restore The Vote Wisconsin Now (RTV-WIN) 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 bipartisan basis as state legislatures and governors increasingly recognize the discriminatory implications of denying any US citizen voting rights.
In Wisconsin, the 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.
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 www.restorethevotewiorg.
Updates about the work of the ACLU of Wisconsin can be found on the Cap City Liberty blog at http://capcityliberty.blogspot.com/ or on the ACLU of Wisconsin homepage at http://www.aclu-wi.org/.
For more information about the work of the ACLU to restore voting rights to ex-offenders, please visit http://www.aclu.org/votingrights/exoffenders/index.html.
The ACLU of Wisconsin is a membership organization devoted to the defense and promotion of civil liberties and rights for all Wisconsin residents.