'No facts': Wisconsin judge smacks down GOP lawsuit against voting rights effort
Milwaukee County Judge Hannah Dugan denied a state Republican Party lawsuit Monday alleging the city of Milwaukee partnered with voting rights initiative "Milwaukee Votes 2022" to promote midterm voter turnout, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Per the report, "after Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson made comments about" the program, "and referenced door-to-door canvassing funded by the 'private sector,'" the Wisconsin GOP and Republican voter Elizabeth Burke sued the city.
Dugan noted in her decision that the GOP lawsuit offered "no facts plausibly showing that any political campaign was unduly influenced by the voting initiative," and "courts in other jurisdictions have addressed and rejected similar arguments."
She wrote, "Ultimately, Plaintiffs complain that people with different political views will lawfully exercise their fundamental right to vote. That is not a harm. That is democracy."
According to a report from The Guardian earlier this year, Wisconsin Elections Commission Republican official Robert Spindell was met with calls to resign after he praised the "well thought out multi-faceted plan" that fueled "lower turnout last year in Black and Hispanic areas of Milwaukee."
The Guardian reports:
Wisconsin is one of the most politically competitive states in America, and the high-stakes battle over voting access that has roiled the state for years. Over the last decade, Republicans enacted new voter ID requirements and distorted the boundaries of electoral districts to cement their power. The state has a Democratic governor, but Republican control over the state legislature is virtually guaranteed because of gerrymandering.
In October, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, another Milwaukee judge rejected "a request from Burke and the state GOP to stop the 'Milwaukee Votes' effort, finding that their arguments were 'deficient' and that issuing such an order would" impede on First Amendment rights.
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