Polling place video decision is a lost opportunity | WisCommunity

Polling place video decision is a lost opportunity

Consider me an outlier. I disagree with the Government Accountability Board's recent rejection of video cameras at polling places. There was a lot of opposition to the idea from the League of Women Voters and citizens worried that voters would be intimidated by observers brandishing cameras at close quarters.

Hear me out. The fall election promises to be ugly. Republican party officials are already recruiting poll watchers for what the are calling a "voter integrity" project for the fall election. They will be taking advantage of the three-foot rule with observers at every registration table. That is where the challenges will be mounted and I for one would like to be able to record that. The best defense for a video camera is another video camera. The Republicans need to be exposed and footage of an observer challenging minority voters would do more to advance the cause of voting rights than any lawsuit or anecdote.

The League of Women Voters logged several incidents of voter intimidation in their report on the 2012 fall election. Among them were the following:

"At Washington High School in Milwaukee, State Rep. Don Pridemore (Hartford) was ejected from the site for repeatedly interfering with the voting process and refusing to obey the Chief’s multiple requests to stop his disruptive behavior. "

" At Cherry Court Apartments in Milwaukee, a “concerned citizen” observer claimed an African-American woman had voted earlier that day and tried to challenge her. However, when informed that he must swear under penalty of perjury to make the challenge, the observer refused to go under oath. Law enforcement was present, including the District Attorney’s office. The voter was permitted to vote as she was eligible to do so."

" At Ben Franklin School in Milwaukee, an observer pestered the Chiefs almost non-stop, constantly raising frivolous concerns, such as a disabled voter being helped by two individuals instead of one. He also hovered too closely around the same-day registration tables."

I would like to get those incidents on tape. Voter intimidation will happen. I just wish I could record it for all the world to see.

Published

July 28, 2014 - 9:26pm

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