For Helen Harris, voting is a family tradition. She was born in Louisiana when Jim Crow ruled the day and her parents weren’t legally allowed to vote. Later in life, after her parents moved to Milwaukee, that right was something they treasured. Her mother cast her last vote in the 2012 presidential election at the age of 95. Harris continued her parent’s tradition, voting in every election from school board to governor. But in 2011, a redistricting of Wisconsin’s assembly district lines left her stranded in an affluent, primarily Republican district far removed from her formerly majority Democrat one. “I just don’t feel that the things that I care about and the things that I value are being represented by the people that we have in office now in our district,” she said.
Harris was testifying Saturday afternoon at a hearing held by the National Commission for Voter Justice. The event was held between 1 and 4 p.m. at the Milwaukee Bar Association, 424 E. Wells St.
The hearing was meant to give Wisconsin residents a chance to give personal testimony of voter suppression, much like a hearing at a trial would.
Attendees from Wisconsin included Milwaukee NAACP President Fred Royal, political writer John Nichols and state Rep. Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee). The hearings have taken place in several states including Michigan, Florida and California. The commission plans to hold 16 more, according to commission President Barbara R. Arnwine.
Full Article: Residents testify on voter suppression at Milwaukee hearing.