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To: Janesville, WI, City Council

No voter suppression-don't make people vote in police stations!

Lonnie Brigham, Jr. presented our petition, as reported in the Janesville Gazette

and the council was able to see that this is an issue that matters to a lot of people. They are going to find other room in City Hall instead of moving the polling place to the police department.

Thank you to everyone who signed and commented--you have helped keep voting accessible for everyone!

Becky Beach

No voter suppression-don't make people vote in police stations!

Do not move voting location for 3rd and 4th wards to the police station! Find another option such as a church that will not discourage Black people and other marginalized communities from voting.

Why is this important?

The recent decision from the Janesville city council to move polling locations into police stations will decrease voter turnout from Black people and other marginalized communities. Throughout the country, conservatives have done everything they can to suppress turnout from Black voters. They have attacked Black people's freedom to vote through laws like voter ID, prosecuting volunteers, and organizations who register Black voters, and administrative moves like changing polling hours, and providing inadequate resources in polling locations Black people use. Janesville city council is following this formula by moving polling stations to police stations in the 3rd and 4th wards of Janesville.

This decision to place these polling places in police stations is not any mere coincidence. This is the hometown of Paul Ryan. Speaker Ryan is now facing a strong challenge to his seat in a manner that he never has. With Speaker Ryan's re-election moving from a foregone conclusion to an uncertainty is very important context for our city council's decision to place these polling places in a location that would suppress voters from marginalized communities. There are also two Black people running for city council and Janesville is not a city that has seen Black people regularly elected. Black turnout will be very important in the next election and several elections afterward. Moving the polling place of Black voters from city hall to a police station is sending a message of fear and intimidation to potential Black voters. We have seen conservatives across the country send mailers to Black communities stating that they will be picked up for warrants if they attempt to vote, we've seen conservatives criminalize organizations that register Black voters through raids and arrests, this latest move from the Janesville city council continues in this spread of voter suppression aimed at attacking Black people's freedom to vote.

The city council has thus far disregarded appeals from representatives of the NAACP and League of Women Voters to find a less fraught location. Instead of listening to the concerns of the people of Janesville the city council has decided to feign ignorance and ignore their constituents. Our city government should be doing everything in their power to create more voters instead of working to reduce them. While we understand there is a hot race to unseat Paul Ryan in his next re-election and turnout is very important, it is even more important for our city to be able to trust that its leaders aren't attempting to suppress their votes for their preferred candidate.

Janesville, WI, USA

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Reasons for signing

  • The National Redistricting Foundation sued Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin on Monday for not holding special elections for two state Legislature seats. In January, Democrats won the special election for a different state Senate seat that had been left open after the incumbent also resigned to join Walker’s administration, flipping party control there for the first time in 17 years.
  • This is just another jingoistic, authoritarian idea designed to keep people away from the polls! Soon no one will want to come to our country!
  • Hi Janesville. I'm your near neighbor, and everything you do to your voting climate affects the state I love and have been proud of.


2018-02-27 06:36:35 -0800

Petition is successful with 1,104 signatures

2018-02-23 05:47:04 -0800

1,000 signatures reached

2018-02-21 13:47:29 -0800

500 signatures reached

2018-02-21 09:08:10 -0800

100 signatures reached

2018-02-21 09:00:21 -0800

50 signatures reached

2018-02-21 08:57:50 -0800

25 signatures reached

2018-02-21 08:56:33 -0800

10 signatures reached