Morning briefing: Push on to get Wisconsin voters required photo IDs

Take a look at the stories from around our area and world that are making news today.

Push on to get Wisconsin voters required photo IDsScott Bauer of the Associated Press writes: "They call her the 'ID Lady.' Wearing a black T-shirt, with large block letters on one side saying "Ask Me" and "About Voter ID" on the other, Molly McGrath moved back to her native state of Wisconsin last year with the mission of helping people vote. For McGrath, that dedication includes navigating homeless people through the voter registration form, helping people new to Wisconsin get an in-state driver's license, arranging free cab rides to the DMV and even personally driving people to where they can get the required ID. She also helps explain the complex and seemingly ever-changing election laws in Wisconsin. This will be the first presidential election where voters are required to show photo ID, a law passed by Republicans that has survived a series of court challenges from liberals. 'There's a tremendous amount of unawareness and confusion about the law,' McGrath said on a late summer morning inside a church near the state Capitol where she was helping a steady stream of people register. 'You can't help but think, is this confusion a bug or part of the design?' Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans who swept into power in 2011 quickly passed a law requiring photo IDs at the polls, arguing it was needed to combat fraud despite scant evidence of any widespread voting irregularities. They didn't stop there." Read more.

De Blasio rallies Clinton volunteers in MilwaukeeMaggie Angst of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes: "Wisconsin will play a critical role in the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told volunteers for Hillary Clinton's campaign at a canvassing kickoff event on Milwaukee's south side Sunday. 'You've got something we (New Yorkers) don't have,' de Blasio told the crowd of about 50 people gathered at a storefront campaign office on Historic W. Mitchell St. 'The future of this country hangs in the balance, and this is one of the places it's going to be decided.' The New York mayor and his wife, Chirlane McCray, attended two church services before hosting separate kickoff events for Milwaukee canvassers Sunday. De Blasio worked as Clinton's first campaign manager when she ran for the U.S. Senate and spoke of his personal experiences working with her. He said she brings a unique perspective as a mother and a longtime advocate for the poor and marginalized. 'She understands families and what working people are going through in a way that no other nominee has,' he said. De Blasio urged canvassers not to leave any door without a knock. 'I want you to feel the urgency that I feel because you are up at the front line of this entire country,' de Blasio said. 'It comes down to a few days now. It comes down to an amazingly small number of people in the scheme of things who will either decide to show up or not. It comes down to the entire country looking at you to see what will happen.'" Read more.

Feingold rallies Portage faithful: Every vote should countLyn Jerde of the Portage Daily Register writes: "Politicians, as a group, utilize any number of ways to get out the vote — mass mailings, phone-banking and door-to-door canvassing, to name a few. On Friday, Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Russ Feingold offered Columbia County supporters another idea. Take a friend to coffee. Then take the same friend to his or her municipal clerk to get an absentee ballot. Feingold — who’s running against the man who defeated him for re-election six years ago, Republican Ron Johnson — said there are plenty of people who 'are wonderful people who are not particularly political.' But in this fall’s decisive and divisive election, he said, there aren’t many people who don’t want their voices heard and their votes counted. Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd at Columbia County’s Democratic headquarters at 118 W. Cook St. in downtown Portage, Feingold praised last summer’s decision of a federal judge to strike down restrictions on so-called “early voting” — the practice of casting an absentee ballot before Election Day, which this year will be Nov. 8. (Absentee ballots are not actually tabulated until Election Day in Wisconsin.)" Read more.
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Arnold Palmer dies at 87 of complications from heart problems:ESPN reports: "Golfing legend Arnold Palmer died Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, his longtime spokesman and friend Doc Giffin told ESPN. Palmer was 87. 'I'm just so heartbroken about it,' Giffin said. 'As much as Arnold Palmer meant to the world, he meant that much and more to me.' According to his longtime agent, Alastair Johnston, Palmer died of complications from heart problems. Johnston said Palmer was admitted to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian on Thursday for some cardiovascular work and weakened over the past few days. Arnold Palmer epitomized the word 'legend' in so many ways, not the least of which was his personal interaction with everyday people. Palmer, who was nicknamed 'The King,' won seven major championships during his professional career, which spanned more than five decades. He won the Masters four times, The Open twice and the U.S. Open once. 'We are deeply saddened by the death of Arnold Palmer, golf's greatest ambassador,' the United States Golf Association said in a statement. "Arnold Palmer will always be a champion, in every sense of the word. He inspired generations to love golf by sharing his competitive spirit, displaying sportsmanship, caring for golfers and golf fans and serving as a lifelong ambassador for the sport." Read more.

Cruz supporters divided over turn to Trump as re-election race loomsDavid Sherfinski of The Washington Times writes: "Sen. Ted Cruz’s decision to support Donald Trump after months of holding out is dividing even members of his former campaign team, with some observers pointing to his 2018 re-election race and a possible 2020 presidential bid as underlying factors. The about-face — after Mr. Cruz told Republican delegates to vote their 'conscience' at the party’s national convention in July — also came after Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the party could make it more difficult for such holdouts to run for office and as talk of a possible primary challenge to Mr. Cruz in 2018 has surfaced. 'Whatever path I went down, there were going to be people who were dismayed,' Mr. Cruz said at the Texas Tribune Festival over the weekend. 'There was no option that wouldn’t result in people being deeply, deeply unhappy.' He said he doesn’t know the political repercussions and is 'not smart enough to figure that out.' 'I’m trying to do the right thing: follow my conscience. What is right for this country? And my view, from the beginning, is do what’s right, stick to your principles, and the politics [will] work out,' he said. Mr. Cruz has cited Mr. Trump’s new commitment to nominate Supreme Court justices only from a specific list of 21 names — a list that now includes close friend and ally Sen. Mike Lee of Utah — as a key factor in his decision."Read more.

2016 Early Voting Underway!Michael P. McDonald of the Huffington Post writes: "arly voting has started in a number of states and we’re getting the first hard data on actual voters. So, it is time to start digging into the data to get a sense of where the 2016 presidential election stands. There are three huge grains of salt to throw on top of the small tea leaves I’m about to read. First, only a small slice of the electorate has requested a ballot or voted one. There are two types of early voters: those who find themselves in a situation where they must vote an absentee ballot, like our military stationed abroad, and those who choose to vote early. For the latter, only the most hardcore political junkies vote the earliest because they follow politics closely, know where the candidates stand, and are comfortable with casting a ballot. Early voting is just a dribble now, with 9,525 people who have voted (in the reporting states and localities). Over 100 million people will vote, and the pace of early voting will naturally increase as we approach Election Day when more people finalize their choices."
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