OP-ED: MAGA Republicans Endorse the Suppression of Votes in Black and Brown Communities

This year – February 3, specifically – marks 153 years since the 15th amendment was ratified and it was guaranteed that the right to vote shall not be denied based on the color of one’s skin.

But just last month, news outlets broke a shocking voting rights violation in Wisconsin: Bob Spindell, a fraudulent Donald Trump elector in 2020, Republican Party of Wisconsin official, and a current member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, bragged about MAGA efforts to stop Wisconsinites from voting based on race in the Badger State’s 2022 midterm election.

Spindell sent an email to nearly 2,000 recipients in which he boasted about a reduction in the number of Black and Hispanic voters last year. He framed it as a victory that less people of color cast ballots in the 2022 election compared to 2018.

Despite public outrage around Spindell’s comments, Republican Senate Leader Devin LeMahieu – who appointed Spindell – is refusing to do anything.

Now, LeMahieu has endorsed MAGA conservative Jennifer Dorow in her campaign for Wisconsin Supreme Court – which raises alarm bells because the Wisconsin Supreme Court holds an integral role in upholding our freedom to vote in Wisconsin.

The current conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court has made dangerous rulings on voting in Wisconsin, including: outlawing the use of ballot dropboxes, placing restrictions on early voting and voter ID, and allowing gerrymandered maps to disenfranchise voters to benefit right-wing politicians.

Dan Kelly, another conservative running for Wisconsin Supreme Court, has been paid handsomely to do legal work for the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Wisconsin, who Spindell singled out for praise in the scheme to suppress votes.

The Republican Party was the single largest contributor to Kelly in his failed 2020 bid for Wisconsin Supreme Court – at which time he was also endorsed by Donald Trump, the epicenter of MAGA extremism.

We look to our courts, like the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, to protect our freedom to vote, not side with partisan politicians who would rig the rules and silence the voices from communities of color to try to win an election.

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A Better Wisconsin Together is a state-based research and communications hub for progressives and is an affiliate of ProgressNow.