Capitol in Madison during the Walker kick off rally, November 19, 2011.
This is the 2nd of a 3 part series of interviews from that day. Read the first part of the series HERE.
I stood silently on one of the corner streets of the Capitol scanning the diverse, demonstrative crowd. Speakers were rallying the crowd from the Capitol steps while thousands listened and cheered. Ragtag bands circled the block chanting the seemingly required rally song, “This is What Democracy Looks Like”. Homemade signs carried by children, parents, uniformed workers, and wheel chaired elders bobbed up and down in every direction, blocking my view except for short periods of time. The most noticeable difference between this rally and Farmer’s rally in March 2011, was the greatly improved food selection. Hours of wait time was no longer required as make shift vendors, offering everything from burgers to egg rolls, lined the streets around the capitol and proudly displayed their support of the protestors with signs such as this one.
UPDATE #2: March 6, a Dane County Judge placed a temporary restraining order on the Voter ID bill, calling it the “single most restrictive voter eligibility law” in the United States. Local elections all over the state on April 3, 2012 operated under the previous law. A second judge placed a permanent injunction on the law. A trial on whether to grant a permanent injunction is scheduled for April 16. This issue is expected to reach the WI Supreme Court.
Now that photo ID’s are required for voting in Wisconsin, Jennifer “Rita” Platt and John Wolfe drove 45 minutes from Osceola to the nearest Dept. of Motor Vehicles office in Hudson, only to be turned away. Governor Walker and state Republicans recently passed the “Voter Photo ID Law”, or Act 23, which has many Wisconsinites scrambling. Rita and John brought social security cards, current pay stubs, and driver’s licenses from Iowa, but it wasn’t enough. They need to pay for certified birth certificates, and wait for them to arrive in the mail, in order to secure a free Wisconsin ID card issued for voting. To complicate matters further for the couple, the computers at the DMV were down and unable to process their request.