Reich has the bigger behind WI primary machinations…

Milwaukee, where COVID’s hitting black neighborhoods the hardest, cut its polling places from 180 down to five. Now thousands of voters are forced to wait in hours-long lines while risking their health.
This is the culmination of every dirty trick in the GOP’s playbook.

After sweeping into power in 2011, the Wisconsin GOP launched a full-fledged gerrymandering
campaign, and their new maps worked exactly as intended. In the 2012 elections, Republicans
won 48.6% of the votes, but took 61% of the seats in the legislature.

Immediately following the GOP takeover of the Wisconsin government, the legislature passed
a strict voter-ID law that reduced black and Latino voting, resulting in 200,000 fewer voters in
2016 than in 2012.  For context, Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by fewer than 23,000 votes.

Now the Wisconsin GOP is trying to purge 240,000 more voters (mostly Democrats)
from the voter rolls. The state sent letters to registered voters, largely in districts that
voted Democratic in 2016, and argue that those who didn’t respond to the letters should
be removed.

Note: That’s called “caging” and it’s illegal…

What the heck is vote caging, and why should we care?

Initially, the WI voter purge was supposed to happen in 2021, but a conservative group sued
to remove them earlier and a conservative judge – Paul V. Malloy – ordered it done. Malloy’s
decision has been appealed to the state Supreme Court, which has deadlocked by a vote of 3-3.

On today’s ballot in Wisconsin is a contest for a seat on the very court that will decide whether
to allow the voter purge of predominantly Democratic voters. The GOP desperately wants to
reelect their candidate, Justice Daniel Kelly, who will uphold the purge if he’s reelected.

Before the pandemic, observers thought Kelly’s more liberal opponent had a good chance
of unseating him because of expected high turnout among Democrats. But now, all bets
are off, especially since the Dem strongholds are in the cities – where the residents are
sheltered in place.

Since Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order went into effect on Mar 25, more than a million voters
have requested absentee ballots. But this surge meant the state ran behind and hasn’t been
able to deliver the ballots. The GOP ploy to elect Kelly and secure the voter purge is working.

7,000 WI poll workers rightfully didn’t work today’s election, so a large number of polls couldn’t
open. Milwaukee, a city of 600,000 that tends to vote Democratic, cut its polling places down
from 180 to just five. The GOP’s anti-democratic war on voting is virtually complete.

Beyond mass testing and the preparedness of the health care system, many also see Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership as one reason the fatality rate has been kept low.

Merkel has communicated clearly, calmly and regularly throughout the crisis as she imposed ever-stricter social distancing measures on the country. The restrictions, which have been crucial to slowing the spread of the pandemic, met with little political opposition and are broadly followed.

The chancellor’s approval ratings have soared.

“Maybe our biggest strength in Germany,” said Krausslich, “is the rational decision-making at the highest level of government combined with the trust the government enjoys in the population.”
Katrin Bennhold in “A German Exception? Why the Country’s Coronavirus Death Rate is Low”
One explanation for the low fatality rate is that Germany has been testing far more people than most nations.

Meanwhile in the US…
Government watchdog: Hospitals face severe shortages of medical gear, confusing guidance from government

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