Sure, it's just a coincidental placement of a traffic sign at the back entrance of my polling place. But symbolically, this is exactly what the new photo ID law that went into effect today says to thousands of Wisconsin citizens who don't have photo ID -- "Stop Do Not Enter." And it's not too welcoming to the rest of us, either.
I used to love the "small D" democratic ritual of voting, the feeling it always gave me of being a free citizen of a free country exercising his rights as a citizen of a democracy. Now it's more like trying to persuade a suspicious salesclerk to cash your check in an out-of-town convenience store, or going through airport security. The poll workers were friendly and seemed to be coping well with the burdens of the new law (aided by the very light turnout of a spring primary, which made for a good test run of the new system). But there's something really demeaning about the process itself. After I handed over my driver's license, the poll worker held it so I couldn't see the address and asked me what my address was. Like I was going to use the license of somebody else who looked like me?
Voting used to be a joy. Now it's an adversary process. Thanks, GOP!
What's next in the Republican campaign of voter suppression and disenfranchisement? Who knows, maybe after they finish taking away women's reproductive rights, they can take their right to vote, too. And then, why not restrict the vote to white male property owners? That would take us back to America at the time of the Founders. Who could quarrel with that?