MSNBC host Rachel Maddow blasted a new Wisconsin law on Thursday allowing “partisan election observers” to hover as close as three feet away as voters give their personal information to elections officials.
“Wisconsin used to be known for civic virtue and civic … civility,” Maddow said, keeping one “observer” at bay with a meter stick. “Now it’s just creepy.”
The bill, signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Wednesday after being passed by the GOP-heavy state legislature, allows for the “observers” to station themselves no further than eight feet away from individual voters, and allows them to challenge a voter’s legitimacy.
“These guys are not the non-partisan, good government poll workers,” she explained. “These are the partisan election observers who are there to challenge you, if — in the process of breathing down your neck from a distance of 36 inches, they see anything that you don’t like about you voting.”
The new measure also comes on the heels of Walker signing legislation into effect curtailing early weekend voting. Critics of both laws have called them an attempt by the Republican Party to stifle voting so as to benefit their candidates.
Maddow supported that assessment, pointing out that Wisconsin traditionally boasts one of the country’s top voting rates.
“Democrats need lots of voters to turn out,” she explained. “Republicans need not-lots of voters to turn out. So in states where Republicans have control of state government, we have seen lots of changes to election laws recently.”
Watch Maddow deal with her “observer” and the new Wisconsin law, as aired on MSNBC on Thursday, below.