New investigations of Scott Walker and friends
New probe investigating illegal actions, including campaign violations during the Senate and Governor’s recall elections.
Scene 3 – “Web Site Voter ID”
The first post in the New John Doe Investigation covered the Americans for Prosperity illegal and fraudulent mailings during the Wisconsin Senate Recall Elections.
The second post covered the early send back of memory cards after the June 5 Recall Election.
Today we will look at the election laws that were broken before and after the Scott Walker’s Recall election June 5, 2012. Just to be clear, this is not a conspiracy theory or an account of accusations based on conjecture. The elections laws that were broken and are referred to in the instances below, were documented. The false information on the Vernon County web site was reported on WKBT TV. False information on other county web sites were not covered in the media.
False Voter ID information on county clerk web sites
It was August and just a month after the June 5 recall election when I happened to check the County Clerk’s web site in Vernon County. I had filed an open records request to view voting materials and was checking the site for office hours and staff names on County Clerk Ron Hoff’s site. When what to my wondering eyes should appear on his Election Information Page but “A voter ID will be required to vote in Vernon County”. I read it again. Yep. I read it correctly. How long had this information appeared on the site? Why was the false information never changed? How many voters were influenced by the false information on the official site for the June 5 Recall Election?
The correct answer is NO ID was required.
You did not need a photo ID to vote in the Senate Primary Election. Of course, you did not need such ID when if you voted in the Recall Election, but if you relied on your local county clerk’s web site in Vernon, Adams or Brown Counties to learn the answer, you may have been misinformed.
The Voter ID debate, legislation, and court injunction proceedings had clicked along for months before the statewide Senate and Recall elections, leaving voters with a snip-it of information here, and a snap-it of news there, until people were confused. Yet, when you seek the authoritative, non-partisan, source for the current information from your local county clerk, like Ron Hoff in Vernon County, you are told you need a photo Id to vote at the polls.
How many people were misinformed by his message and did not vote in the recent elections since the law was held up by an injunction? We will never know.
When people are confused about their right to vote due to an ever evolving wave of conflicting information, it is the job of the county clerk to help – to make your voting rights clear – yet Ron Hoff and other clerks do the opposite by posting the wrong information on the official county site on which voters rely. Was the false information left on the official web sites in several counties a coincidence of incompetence? Was it an intentional oversight that was perpetrated by an outside influence like the group that mailed out false voter information before the Senate recall election?
Voter Photo ID Law Status: No ID Currently Required for Voting
|Two separate judges, on March 6 and March 12, 2012, have issued injunctions preventing the Government Accountability Board from enforcing photo ID requirements in 2011 Act 23. The Wisconsin Department of Justice has appealed those injunctions, and the appeals have been certified to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which on April 16 sent them back to the respective Courts of Appeals. Voter Photo ID Law Information|
Do citizens need to “cut and paste” the above message into an email to their county clerk to inform them of the correct information and to avoid confusion? Isn’t providing the most current information about elections their job?
So, Why did the county clerks web sites in Vernon, Brown, and Adams counties say a photo Id is required?
Maybe they don’t know that Photo ID’s are not required, they haven’t updated there site in a few months, or maybe, perhaps, they don’t want you to know. Do you really expect voters to believe that the false information was a simple matter of failure to update your web site?
Adams County Clerk Cindy Phillippi
Information on the county clerk’s official site under Election Information.
Voter ID Brochure – How to Obtain a Wisconsin State ID for Voting Purposes (PDF 397Kb)
Instead, of informing voters they DO NOT need a Photo ID. she directs them to a page to learn how to get one!
Brown County Clerk Darlene K. Marcelle
If you go to Darlene’s official web site to find out photo id information?
|You click the category for “elections”, then click “registration information” you are eventually linked to a Government Accountability Board (GAB) with the message “Page Not Found”.|
Thanks Darelene. How about just pasting up the current GAB message above on your web site.
One Third of Counties Misinform Voters
After reviewing 25 of the 72 Wisconsin Counties web sites for a clear statement regarding the requirement of a photo ID to cast a ballot, 8 were found to have posted information that is in violation of state statutes that require accuracy of information about voting law. Yes, they broke the law. The clerks who misinformed voters were never officially investigated or reprimanded. Outside the report on WKBT TV La Crosse, no other media report of the incidents were covered in the press.
Many other sites did not post the information directly on the web site but pasted a link to the GAB, where a voter may find a “Page Not Found” message or a gobbledygook string of links that serves to confuse the voter more than to provide a simple answer to a simple question.
The maze of law breaking, confusing, and “Page not Found” messaging had gone on since the original, now defunct, Voter Id Law was passed. Do you begin to sense a pattern?
Perhaps, any one instance of the law breaking that proceeded the Senate and June 5 Recall elections might be dismissed as incompetence on the part of some county clerks, but when you look at the big picture – the fraudulent mailings, the early send back of memory cards, and the false voter ID information posted on web sites – do you begin to sense a pattern? Any wonder why the John Doe investigation is spreading throughout the state?