Monday, June 25, 2012

Racine Election Integrity: SVU

Our favorite local election conspiracy RWNJ penned a commentary this weekend and the JT saw fit to print it. So kittens, we bring you "Delusions of Gradeur" by Lou D'Abbracio...with notes.

Lawful voters must have faith their vote counts Which is why we are terrorizing urban polling places acting like the voters who live there are criminals

It is in the interest of every citizen to ensure that we have fair and honest elections in which every person legally entitled to vote is afforded the opportunity to do so, one time. I literally have no proof that anyone voted more than once. - By merely suggesting they might I look like a hero, as opposed to a partisan hack employed in a scheme to throw polling places into chaos and shave a few votes off as people get tired of waiting for the mess I have created to blow over. Every lawful voter deserves to have faith in the principle that their vote counts as much as any other. Unfortunately, election observers noted significant irregularities, which call that faith into question. Partisan observers brought in from out of state with an expressed desire to swing the election to Republicans and no desire to see that everyone gets a chance to vote.

"Other" election observers noted D'Abbracio's observers illegally engaging voters by speaking or questioning them, handling election materials, improperly issuing challenges and photographing the license plates of voters who had just registered. They also saw D'Abbracio's observers intentionally misdirecting voters to the wrong polling places. But what's a little intimidation and harassment when the people's "faith" is at stake?    
Suppose you spotted $25 tucked under the windshield wiper of a car in a crowded parking lot. Nobody’s looking, and the driver is nowhere in sight; Would you pick it up? If you’re like most people, you would be aghast at the suggestion. We are so aghast. So here’s an experiment for you: Drive over to the mall, and tuck a $20 and a $5 under the wiper blade. Then head on in to the mall for a day of shopping. Will it be there when you come back? You wouldn’t take it, but it would be na├»ve to assume that others would not. See YOU are a good person - but everyone else is total crap.
What does that have to do with elections? Like that hypothetical $25, the security of your vote is entirely dependent on the trustworthiness of your fellow citizens. Who I have just illustrated as total crap. And because we stationed ourselves at inner-city polling locations you can make a pretty good guess at the color of the people we think would steal that $25. Those folks out in Union Grove and Waterford would have never taken the $25 which is why we didn't send our "observers" there. If you haven’t registered to vote lately, you may not realize just how lax Wisconsin’s standards are; They’re kind of like that $25 under the wiper blade. Wait, we thought the $25 is the security of the vote? Same day registration has been the law since the 1970's so you must be pretty old if the standards are a surprise to you. The suspension, by a Dane County judge, of the voter ID law passed by the legislature has withheld much needed reform from the electoral process. The suspension of the law did not effect registrations at all - in fact it is actually more difficult to register than ever before - the Dane county judge did not suspend the changes to voter registrations.  
Someone registering to vote on Election Day need not show a single piece of identification to prove their identity, merely provide a Wisconsin driver’s license number, or the last four digits of their Social Security number. And they have since the '70's. The voter ID law did not change the requirement to show an ID to register - only to vote. If the voter ID law was reinstated today - it would be exactly the same procedure. To reiterate, they don’t need to show the document, just provide a number, which is not verified. There is absolutely no barrier to making it up. Except that the voter registrant is signing a legal document saying that everything they have written is the truth under penalty of law - a FELONY penalty. (If you think these laws don't matter ask the guy who forged recall signatures and see what he thinks.) These things do catch up to you - which is why there has been literally no discernible voter registration fraud in Wisconsin for decades. 
Voters are required to separately prove their residence. Which they always have and will continue to do even under voter ID. The law provides a list of specific documents that are allowable as proof of residence, which includes a driver’s license, current utility bill, or other document bearing the name and current address of the voter. No, not "other" document the list IS specific. A government generated bill or statement, a bank statement, paycheck, phone, electric or cable bill or a lease. However, on Election Day, we observed many How many is many? instances, across multiple polling locations, of poll workers accepting such documents as Racine water bills (which are addressed to occupant), documents which indicated that the voter lived outside the district One document, according to complaints submitted by D'Abbracio., junk mail, Which poll workers rejected as proof of residence - but why mention that when we can paint paint them broadly as incompetent? and in one case, a hand-written tear-out rent receipt dated that day. (As an aside, we are not actually sure a rent receipt does not constitute a lease agreement - the legal description is vague and does allow for written agreements from landlords - which could be that month's rent receipt. Not everyone has year to year leases.) In that last case, my challenge of the voter was ignored. Because the challenge was made improperly. In the others, we were able to assert the law to the poll worker, Which is illegal - assertions of any kind are to be made to the Chief Inspector and NOT to poll workers. but the almost universal observation by our poll watchers was that they would come back later to find the same lax standards being applied. So we continued to harass voters and poll workers at different polling locations without getting caught because we moved the "watchers" around before they got thrown out. As one told me, “I have no confidence that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, unless I’m right there.” We wonder if this "watcher" was the Illinois county clerk who tried to stop a voter from putting their ballot in the machine or the one who tried to say a voter lived in a vacant lot?
This combination of lax registration standards, along with a failure to apply those standards, such as they are, creates a means to thwart the electoral process. Yes, because out of over 70,000 votes cast on Election Day we submitted four examples of mistakes made by affidavit on a piece of paper. This can only mean the election process was being purposely "thwarted" and not that several mistakes occurred.
Now, add this to the confusion of Election Day Which we did our best to create., which saw overwhelmed poll workers Which we distracted and interfered with whenever we could., in many cases thrown into the breach Where we were waiting for them. with a minimum of training. In many polling locations, blue fist wearing union activists which is neither improper nor illegal. Wearing a union shirt is allowed in polling locations. D'Abbracio's regard for the 1st Amendment and freedom of speech apparently only extends to himself., and other electioneering activities Which in no way have been substantiated or documented. contributed to the chaos. Let us make clear that wearing a blue fist shirt or button is not electioneering - directly engaging or persuading voters about candidates on the ballot is. This environment created an opportunity for potential fraud to take place. It doesn't, you are just supposed to take his word for it with four anecdotal examples and a profound and selective misunderstanding of the law.
So what did that $25 have to do with elections? We're not sure anymore. That’s the amount spent, by both parties on the recall election; In other words, it was the value of a voter. For f#ck's sake, first it was voter security then it was lax standards. This is analogy is getting on our nerves. This is the motive. For what? Voter fraud perpetrated by poll workers who would have cheated if Republican poll watchers had not been there? Puhleeze. The only motive that is clear is that Republicans conspired to make Election Day difficult by flagrantly ignoring the same rules they are accusing others of not following. They were not in polling places to protect the vote - they were there to slow down, confuse and intimidate voters and run roughshod over poll workers.
So we have means, motive, and opportunity For ourselves and our own agenda - why do you think we were in the city and not out in the county? Were the poll workers out in Raymond any less overwhelmed and confused? — don’t we owe it to every voter to ensure that these things don’t come together to negate their vote? And at all cost make sure minority voters who just happen to like Democrats a bit more don't get to vote and when they do - castigate the poll workers in order to obfuscate an embarrassing defeat.
Lou D’Abbraccio is a strategic planning, marketing, and business development professional, Army veteran, and former intelligence officer. He‘s served on the Executive Board of the Racine County Republican Party since 2000, and manages its election observer program. Well, at least the JT forced him to admit he's a partisan surrogate...we'll leave the intelligence officer part alone.