Needed: Election integrity, not GOP fraud | Wis.Community

Needed: Election integrity, not GOP fraud

There's election fraud in Wisconsin -- but not where you might think if you believe all of the bombast from Atty. Gen. JB Van Hollen, who continues to act as though there is some vast conspiracy to steal Wisconsin's elections.  Those claims are the real fraud.

One Wisconsin Now this week, as Van Hollen trumpeted his that after almost four years of searching for fraudulent voting in the 2008 presidential election, he's come up almost entirely empty.

Despite the scary headlines, OWN noted, Van Hollen has found only 11 potentially-improper votes cast out of 3 million people who voted. 

Van Hollen's "partisan-fueled, taxpayers-financed anti-voter witch hunt," is a bust, said OWN's highly quotable Scot Ross. "Van Hollen claims there is widespread error  ... he's either completely incompetent or an indisputable liar."

The timing of Van Hollen's charges, in the months just prior to the upcoming 2010 elections, is little more than a public relations effort by Van Hollen to justify tactics which result in voter suppression and voter intimidation in urban polling locations, Ross said.

Eight of the charges -- all brought after 18 months after the 2008 election -- were for ex-offenders, ineligible to vote because they were on probation. Two people were accused of voting twice and one was charged with trying to obtain an absentee ballot for a deceased spouse. That represents four ten thousandths of one percent (0.0004%) of votes cast in 2008, Ross said.  

Van Hollen's timing is suspect, because he waited until the 2010 election cycle to file any charges. "It stretches any reasonable credibility that it takes 18 months to compare two lists (the voter list and the probation/parole list)," said Ross.

Van Hollen announced an expanded task force this week that includes 11 district attorneys, instead of just the Milwaukee County DA, John Chisholm, who participated in 2008, possibly giving credence to right-wing claims of voter fraud in Milwaukee, complete with false reports of busloads of Chicagoans (guess what color) going from one polling place to another to cast their ballots.  When will those charges  be issued?  Never, because there is no evidence of any widespread or organized fraud,but merely a few individuals trying, perhaps out of ignorance, to vote illegally.

It is now the Election Integrity Task Force, suggesting that at least in theory it will not only look for voters fraud but will protect people's right to vote without intimidation and harassment.  That would be a good thing.

But in the release, the Waukesha DA can't stop himself from calling for voter ID cards, and Van Hollen, who issued the release, gladly included it (or,, more likely,  the AG's staff wrote the  quote for him.) 

But a voter ID requirement would not have affected a single one of the 11 cases Van Hollen listed.  not one.  So his motivation in making that part of the task force press release is clear.

Election integrity is important.  We should expect it from voters and groups that participate in the electoral process.  And we should expect it from the politicians like Van Hollen, who hides  his real agenda behind partrisan claims of fraud.

More information about Van Hollen's past voter suppression efforts is available at One Wisconsin Now's partner organization, the Institute for One Wisconsin, also maintains a voter rights website, available at


August 1, 2010 - 12:45pm