Court Injunction – a Path to Transparency

How would the story of the Pash/Darling race have changed with a Court Injunction impounding ballots and election materials?

Here it is, one week since I called the Pasch campaign and suggested they should seek a Court Injunction. I was told that they had attorney’s in place in all wards and were confident of the integrity of the election and the importance of each vote being counted fairly.

Now, just one week later, we have this:

Mike Tate (Chairman of Democratic Party of Wisconsin) is wondering why it took so long for the Menomonee Falls numbers to come in. Tate says, “They use the same machines as Glendale, Whitefish Bay, Shorewood. Why is it that their machines, same as everybody else, somehow take longer to count the ballots? I think it’s a little suspicious.”
Read article

I ask…what would be different if the Democratic Party held a Court Injunction in the Pasch/Darling race?

With an injunction, the Pasch people would have legal access to the ballots, absentee ballots, machines and programs, poll tapes and all the election materials. They could do the research to trace what happened in Butler and Menominee Falls on election night with the full backing of the law. Instead, we see a repeat of the Supreme Court recount and Waukesha County Clerks human errors playing out all over again. Without an injunction, a clerk or election official can merely say, “it was human error”, “I made a mistake”, and the Government Accountability Board, will take them at their word. If an injunction were in place, the “human error” excuses would not wash, the actions of mis-counting, mis-handling, or sitting on votes would cross the bar of “human error” and be “illegal actions”.

Unfortunately for the Mike Tate, and the voters of Wisconsin there was no injunction in place so, even after the experience of the Supreme Court recount, where a ton of evidence was uncovered and documented that suggested a breaking of election law, there was no legal recourse. The anomalies were reported, acknowledged, and ignored. Prosser was certified as the victor before the total votes cast in the election were even published. And here we are again, with similar allegations in the same wards and precincts, and again, no legal recourse.

So Why Not Seek An Injunction?

Even though there is precedent for such an action. Jane Corwin, the Republican candidate in a high-stakes NY-26 special election, obtained a judge’s order to bar the certification of the result and impound certain election materials when polls closed. Such an action is not far out of the ordinary in New York, but is an indicator that a close result is expected. Read Post “Get an Injunction” Still, Wisconsin candidates seem to view this action as controversial in that it might send a signal of mistrust in the Wisconsin Statutes to hold in their favor. They see an injunction as some maverick or fanatic maneuver that casts them in a dark light. They live in the old political world of fair play, where as long as they have attorneys on the ground at the polling places, they are assured of the integrity of their election.

What Would An Injunction Do or Say?

The old ways of securing elections are a path to defeat. Ask JoAnne Kloppenburg or Sandy Pasch or even Mike Tate. Wake up. You are living in a much more ruthless political world than your last election. The GOP and associates have mailed out absentee with false election dates. Voting bags have been pictured and documented with open gaps due to bad seals, rips, and tears. Poll tapes have been pictured and documented with dates 5 days before the election. Now, it appears absentee ballots are being encouraged as a means of holding up the report of the vote from Menominee Falls. All of this and candidates are hesitant to get a court injunction?

If anything, a court order to secure the vote is a expression of gratitude for all of the volunteers who worked phone banks, knocked on doors, and distributed yard signs and brochures to get out your vote. A candidate should seek a court order as a big “thank you” to all of your people. It shows you are willing to take the extra step to secure the vote they worked so hard to get out.

WEAC, AFSME, the Democratic Party, and each of the individual campaigns have been contacted and were emailed or sent a fax of the letter below:

Sheila Parks:
August 7, 2011 at 11:20 am (Edit)

Here is a letter sent to candidates about filing this injunction. It includes the WI statutes that would allow not only candidates, but also voters, to file such an injunction.

My name is Dr. Sheila Parks, and I am the founder of the national organization, Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots, http://www.handcountedpaperballots.org We work closely with the recently formed grassroots group called Wisconsin Citizens for Election Protection (WCEP) http://www.electionprotectionwisconsin.com/ .This group of Wisconsin citizens is concerned with protecting the integrity of Wisconsin elections.

Many of them observed the Supreme Court recount and were appalled at what they saw. Although the limited media coverage highlighted the human errors in Waukesha County, there was an overwhelming number of problems in municipalities across the State of Wisconsin.

WCEP organized volunteers to observe poll closing procedures as a way to try to improve the integrity and security of Wisconsin’s elections. They placed WI citizen volunteers in each of the nine senate districts for the July 2011 elections. The citizens of Wisconsin are especially concerned with integrity in the election process for the recalls because they all have the potential for being close races.

We are all, local and national groups, especially and very seriously concerned about the integrity of the process in the coming General Election on August 9th.

Therefore, I am asking your campaign to file an injunction immediately to: impound all voting equipment and ballots when the polls close on election night. The election materials must be protected in the event of a potential recount or other challenges that could be made about the integrity of the election results. You may remember that recently, the Republicans in New York were granted this same injunction earlier this year. Ultimately, the Republicans lost the strongly-held Republican seat to the Democrat. Your injunction is the senate district’s best chance for a fair election.

Here is a quote and some details from a paper I published earlier this summer.

“An injunction to preserve the evidence is what Corwin did in New York (NY-26) to bar certification of any results and impound all voting equipment and ballots immediately after the election. It is legal to do this in Wisconsin. Given the fact that Wisconsin statutes (See especially Sections 5.05, 5.06 (1), 5.06 (2), 5.06 (8),5.08) clearly allow challenges to elections, voter registration and candidate qualifications, then clearly there needs to be preservation of records in the recalls ballots, records and other evidence, including the electronic voting machines. The same reasoning that applied in NY-26 governs Wisconsin. I am looking at this from the prospective of a reasonable judge. Any voter can seek an injunction preserving evidence that might substantiate the claim of election fraud. These are highly contested elections. There could be misconduct on the part of election officials. There is potential for some kind of fraud that election officials can’t detect. It would be very powerful for a candidate to seek an injunction.”

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/corwin-gets-pre-emptive-legal-action-in-ny-26.php This article talks about the issue in NY and what Corwin did

http://www.scribd.com/doc/56182443/Impound-Order-For-Results-In-NY-26-Special-Election Here is the Impound Order

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/Stat0005.pdf Here are the Wisconsin Statutes that show Wisconsin can do what NY did.

Filing an injunction to protect the election materials on election night is essential to ensuring the integrity of the election results. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

WCEP has worked tirelessly to communicate with municipality clerks throughout Wisconsin to educate them about the vulnerabilities in the Wisconsin election system. They have continuously reached out to the GAB for the very same reason.

I am eager to know how I may communicate most effectively with candidates. I welcome any questions and feedback you may have. A response from you would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Please visit WCEP website at http://www.electionprotectionwisconsin.com. If you have any questions, you may contact me at sheilaruthparks@comcast.net or Jim Mueller, the attorney for WCEP at jimmueller@charter.net.

Thank you for your time, attention and consideration.

Respectfully,

Sheila Parks, Ed.D.
Founder, Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots
http://www.handcountedpaperballots.org

The recall Election of Wirch and Holperin is tomorrow

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8 thoughts on “Court Injunction – a Path to Transparency

    • Sheila sent the letter via fax or email to WEAC and AFSME last Monday.

      I talked to a WEAC repreesentitive last Monday and was told it was to late to complete the communication necessary to complete a legal action in so short a time.

      Like

  1. Dennis, this is wonderful terrific spectacular awesome and then some.

    I will post on FB walls of Holperin and Wirsch now, hope it has been posted there by others alL day long and now all night long and then tomorrow too

    YOU ARE THE BEST

    Like

  2. A very, very well written piece, Dennis (albeit sad commentary…) I especially like, “If anything, a court order is an expression of gratitude for all of the volunteers….” Perhaps THAT should be in the title, i.e. “Candidates: Show your gratitude by filing your injunction BEFORE the voters go to the polls…”

    Like

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