Wisconsin Weekly: Disability, COVID-19 pandemic, lead to disenfranchisement for Wisconsin man

Voting hurdles; pandemic as ‘Groundhog’s Day;’ Kanye West on Wisconsin ballot; utility regulator seeks job with utility; indigenous leaders want mascots retired

Of note: This week we draw your attention to a story by Wisconsin Watch reporter Enjoyiana Nururdin, who profiles a visually impaired voter who ran out of options to vote on April 7. Don Natzke of Shorewood tried everything he could think of, but in the end, chose his health over exercising his right to vote. The piece was produced in collaboration with The Guardian on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. 

More stories of disenfranchisement can be seen at The Guardian’s The Fight to Vote series.

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Will Cioci / Wisconsin Watch

Don Natzke, 69, is seen in the backyard of his Shorewood, Wis., home on July 31, 2020. Natzke, who is visually impaired, was unable to vote in Wisconsin’s April election as fear of the COVID-19 pandemic kept him from his in-person polling place and he faced several hurdles casting an absentee ballot.

A Wisconsin man with visual impairment tried to vote. The coronavirus got in his way

Wisconsin Watch — August 6, 2020

Don Natzke, 69, has lived nearly his entire life with visual impairment. Natzke previously served as the executive director of the Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities, where he promoted accessible governmental policies to include people with disabilities. But when it came time to vote on April 7, Natzke felt he ran out of options.

Is Wisconsin GOP behind Kanye’s campaign?

WISN 12 — August 4, 2020

An attorney who represents the Republican Party of Wisconsin and the Republican National Committee was seen dropping off Kanye West’s presidential nomination papers Tuesday at the state Elections Commission building in Madison.

Former Wisconsin regulator sought job as utility CEO months after voting to approve its projects

Wisconsin State Journal — August 4, 2020

A former Wisconsin regulator sought to lead one of the state’s largest utilities just months after voting to approve two of the company’s projects. Mike Huebsch, who resigned from the Public Service Commission in February, later applied for the job of chief executive officer of Dairyland Power Cooperative, according to documents obtained by a group suing the agency over approval of a controversial power line through southwestern Wisconsin.

Indigenous leaders call for Wisconsin schools to retire Native American mascots, logos

Green Bay Press Gazette — August 4, 2020

The retiring of the Washington NFL team name last month has renewed calls for school sports teams in Wisconsin to do the same and drop all mascots, logos and names depicting Native Americans.

Will Cioci / Wisconsin Watch

Cows are seen at Bryan Voegeli’s dairy farm, which specializes in Brown Swiss cattle, in Monticello, Wis., on July 9, 2020.

‘It does feel a little bit like ‘Groundhog’s Day’ ’  — Dairy farmer Bryan Voegeli fears what an outbreak could mean for his farm

Wisconsin Watch/WPR — August 6, 2020

Dairy farmer Bryan Voegeli feels lucky that none of his workers has tested positive for COVID-19. But as the pandemic stretches on, he thinks it may be inevitable.

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