The successful recall of former state Sen. Van Wangaard by 834 votes has the Republican party struggling to portray itself as the victim once again. Wangaard requested a recount, citing the usual registration violations and lack of voter ID laws, along with people campaigning at the polls, while even the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel noted, “[Wangaard] offered no proof of any of those allegations.” Instead of accepting their lone defeat of the election, in a district that flips as often as Mitt Romney, MacIver Institute “news service” is floating the story “Did several Racine poll workers push for recall of Wangaard?” on the basis that some of these poll workers (presumably very politically engaged citizens), signed a recall petition.
Eye on Wisconsin neatly sums up the wasteful hypocrisy of a recount, but I would like to take MacIver’s angle — YES, the 78 of 189 poll workers that signed a recall petition petition actively campaigned on behalf of John Lehman, influencing the outcome of the election.
Each of these hyper-partisan poll workers influenced 10.7 voters each to push Lehman to 834 more votes than Wangaard, without their misconduct being noted even a single time. Not even by fellow poll workers, 111 of whom did not sign any recall petition.
Perhaps the margin of victory was due to identification not being required when casting a ballot, and that happened 200 times in Racine County. In that case, the poll workers only had to convince 8.1 people to vote for Lehman. Is that far-fetched? Not when you include the figure of 250 fraudulent same-day registrations I just made up. Now each poll worker only needed to convince 4.9 voters to fill in the arrow for Lehman.
MacIver knows the “news” they “publish” is absolute garbage, but they have no problem making baseless insinuations or telling outright lies. It’s dirty, pathetic, right-wing politics at it’s most obvious, on par with Media Trackers and Wisconsin Reporter. Sadder yet is that so many fail to understand this, and it’s only going to get worse.
The State Government Accountability Board was absolutely right when ruling against a voluntary identification for voters opting in. When the ID-loving, make-it-harder-to-vote right is upset, the preferred outcome has generally come to fruition.
The right-wing, in its populist, take-our-country-back incarnation of late, often describes liberals as “elitists.” Really, voluntary voter ID is elitist. If you are reading this, you probably know election laws fairly well. You are different from most people. I’m not advocating uninformed voting, but the vast majority of citizens are not well versed in the rules of something done once or twice a year.
The GAB ruled against voluntary voter ID because it could confuse voters — seeing a poll worker ask someone to present ID could very easily lead another voter behind the volunteer IDer to believe they too needed ID to vote. At a restaurant unfamiliar to you, would you not follow the lead of the people ahead in line? It’s the herd mentality. Maybe sad, but true.
Of course the right doesn’t care about disenfranchising voters. Especially not the younger, less experienced type that skew Democratic. That is why they support mandatory voter ID laws — fewer voters tends to favor Republicans.
The right loves to cry that voter fraud is destroying our democracy, yet in the 2008 election there were only seven instances of fraud, out of 2.9 million voters. Hardly a threat to our political system.
This is not about encouraging uninformed voting. And it’s less about encouraging voting than it is about not discouraging it. Remember the next time Sarah Palin attacks “liberal elites”, it is her type that wishes to erect barriers to voting, for the political gain of the Republican party.
The latest “That’s Debatable” from WisOpinion is predictably about Dave Obey’s retirement. Also predictably, Brian Fraley denigrates Obey’s forty year career of public service (as does 3rd CD candidate Dan Kapanke). Even Obey’s (former) likely opponent Sean Duffy could muster a compliment for the 21 term Congressman, as did Obey’s former unlikely opponent, Dan Mielke.
But the meat of this post is here: Scot Ross busts out a great quote from Obey, on the Clinton budget surplus the Bush administration squandered. Completely oblivious, Fraley responds that us rotten liberal’s plan for the future is “spend, spend, spend.”
Also confusing is Fraley’s shot at the old-school Wisconsin Democratic Party being “Old, white and male.” His Repulican Pa–oh wait, the MacIver Institute is non partisan… they just handle record requests from GOP legislators.