One of the leaders of the state-level Republican campaign to make voting more difficult could soon be getting a promotion.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman held a narrow lead in the vote count for the GOP primary for a U.S. congressional seat. The district is solidly Republican, meaning if Grothman’s margin holds up, he will likely be heading to Washington next year.
Grothman was the Senate sponsor of the bill passed earlier this year by Wisconsin Republicans that scrapped weekend voting.
“Between [early voting], mail absentee, and voting the day of election, you know, I mean anybody who can’t vote with all those options, they’ve really got a problem,” Grothman told msnbc last November after introducing the bill. “I really don’t think they care that much about voting in the first place, right?”
"Between [early voting], mail absentee, and voting the day of election, you know, I mean anybody who can’t vote with all those options, they’ve really got a problem."'
The original bill offered by Grothman was too extreme even for Gov. Scott Walker, who is no friend of voting rights. In addition to the ban on weekend voting, it sought to limit early voting hours in Milwaukee and other cities to 45 hours per week—a provision Walker stripped out.
Speaking to msnbc, Grothman described cities that offer extensive early voting as “out of control,” arguing that with his bill, “we can rein them in.”
If Grothman does make it to Washington, he’d work alongside another member of Wisconsin’s Republican delegation with a very different record on the issue. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the party’s only true voting rights champion, co-authored legislation earlier this year aimed at strengthening the Voting Rights Act after it was badly weakened by the Supreme Court.
It’s not just on voting that Grothman’s views are extreme. As the Democratic-aligned group Amerian Bridge noted Wednesday, he has accused Secretary of State John Kerry of upsetting God by trying to stop Uganda’s barbaric anti-gay bill, proposed a seven-day work week, and called Planned Parenthood “the most racist organization" in America.