After the political rancor generated by Gov. Scott Walker’s success in stripping Wisconsin public employees of their collective bargaining rights, activists on both sides of the aisle vowed to recall their perceived political enemies by petition. As those petitions have gotten forwarded to government authorities, the process of vetting the signatures has begun.
Democrats in Wisconsin alleged today that the GOP’s petitions are rife with errors, fraudulent signatures and signatures culled through lying and deception.
MADISON – A formal challenge to be filed later today against Republican recall petitions asks the Government Accountability Board to disqualify thousands of invalid signatures, and reject recall elections against three Democratic state senators, because widespread and systemic election fraud has tainted the entire GOP operation.
“The overwhelming evidence clearly shows a pervasive pattern of election fraud committed by the shady out-of-state organization hired by Republicans to collect recall petitions,” said Senate Democratic Leader Mark Miller. “Thousands of Wisconsin citizens fell victim to lies and misinformation spread by the circulators, and the papers submitted by this operation contain a river of omissions and wrong information.”
The online post lists a number of alleged irregularities:
Many affidavits attesting that Circulator Sherri Ferrell – who gathered nearly 3,000 signatures in two districts — gathered signatures on Indian reservations claiming petitions were to support “schools,” “Democrats,” and “tribal rights” . .
Affidavit of voter in Senate District 30 attesting that circulator Annette Lord claimed the petitions were to recall Republican Senator Cowles.
Affidavit of voter in Senate District 30 attesting that circulator Richard Madrill claimed the petitions were to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
William Pocan’s forged name appears on line 10, page 362 of circulator Kevin Pursell’s petition. As his widow Corinne Pocan’s affidavit attests, William Pocan has been deceased 20 years, although his name remains in the phone book. Pursell circulated numerous pages.
If there are irregularities, some will blame the GOP’s paying Kennedy Enterprises $100,000 for its services. Kennedy was accused of unprofessional practices in its circulators’ signature gathering in Colorado and elsewhere:
Paid circulators are being accused of misleading voters when asking them to sign petitions. The group is circulation [sic] a petition that asks people to sign a “collective bargaining for city employees” petition. The circulators have associated themselves with benefits for the fire department even though the fire department would not benefit nor is associated with the petition . . According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Kennedy Enterprises was involved in an Indiana investigation in 2000 for placing the names of four people who had died on a petition drive to get then-Republican candidate Gary Bauer onto the state’s presidential primary ballot.