Trump campaign, Voter Suppression, Souls to the polls, Wisconsin

Voter Suppression Allegations By Advocacy Group Spark Outrage In Wisconsin

Souls to the Polls demands removal of Wisconsin GOP director for allegedly orchestrating Trump supporters' surge in poll escort requests.

On April 25, Souls to the Polls, a voting rights advocacy group, called for the removal of the recently appointed executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, Andrew Iverson, over concerns that he conspired to overwhelm the group with requests from supporters of Donald Trump to be taken to the polls. 

As The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, the text messages originated when Iverson was the leader of Trump Victory’s Wisconsin branch, a joint venture between the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee. Souls to the Polls Wisconsin Executive Director Greg Lewis said in a statement that the messages represent the latest in a line of racist voter suppression.

“Today’s news is the latest in the pattern of voter suppression and racism,” Lewis said. He was joined in his condemnation of Iverson and the Wisconsin Republican Party at large by Samuel Libert, the Wisconsin director of All Voting is Local and Angela Lang, the executive director of Black Leaders Organizing Communities.

“This blatant tactic to ‘wreak havoc’ not only undermines democracy but it also directly targets minority communities and perpetuates our cycle of voter suppression,” Lieber said. In an April 25 press release, he underscored these points directly. “By targeting a Black community organization like Souls to the Polls, there is no mistake that the end goal was to suppress Black voters. This threat to flood their ride to the polls program, which Milwaukee residents have relied on for more than a decade, would have taken away a vital resource for voters who actually need help getting to a polling site.”

Lieber continued, “Actions like these not only undermine our democracy, but they also directly target historically disenfranchised communities and purposefully make it harder for them to vote.”

Lang, meanwhile, was critical of Iverson’s argument that the text messages he exchanged with former Republican operative and white supremacist Carlton Huffman were jokes. Huffman, who agrees with Lang and Lieber, is now an anti-Trump conservative. 

“If communities of color said this is a harm and a painful part of my ancestral history, again, politics aside, why would you joke about something like that?” Lang said. “And then, obviously, you add in the politics, you add in the other dynamics, the current political climate that we’re in — all of that, it’s disgusting to hear that he thought it was a joke, and I felt like it was a poor excuse at him trying to walk it back a little bit.”

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