Total Recall: Americans For Prosperity sends absentee ballots to Wisconsin Family Action
Post by Jesse Russell on 8/2/2011 9:30am
The recall elections of six incumbent State Senators are one week away and the Government Accountability Board has issued statements warning voters to be on alert for misinformation.
GAB is alerting voters to be wary of absentee ballots that have been sent by third-party organizations. News broke yesterday that the Wisconsin tentacle of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative organization, sent letters with an incorrect absentee ballot filing date.
Matt Seaholm, state director of AFP, told No Quarter that the incorrect date was a typo and the letter was only sent to AFP members. However, two of the individuals filing complaints against AFP claim they aren't members of the organization and are, in fact, identified as being "card-carrying Democrats."
The other issue is the address on the enclosed envelope allegedly goes to the "absentee ballot processing center." The address is actually the address for Wisconsin Family Action PAC. WFA is an organization dedicated to "advancing Judeo-Christian principles and values in Wisconsin by strengthening and preserving marriage, family, life and liberty."
Barbara With posted a video detailing the numerous errors in the AFP mailing.
If you google the PO Box number you'll find that Wisconsin Right to Life has an absentee ballot request form in their website directory that goes to the same P.O. Box. That request form includes the same "typo" that's on the AFP mailing, but the document name (Absentee_July19Aug16_2.pdf) suggests WRtL intended that request form to be for the August 16 recall election. In the elections section of their website they direct visitors to the GAB website for downloading an absentee ballot.
WRtL was taken to task on the day of the Democrat recall primary for confusing robocalls and sending out the misleading absentee ballot request envelopes.
The first alert was issued on July 29, 2011 warning voters to be wary of third party "reference guides." They specifically reference a conservative voter watchdog organization called "We're Watching Wisconsin Elections." GAB said the "group has recently published four reference guides for observers to use that contained numerous significant and factual errors."
We're Watching Wisconsin Elections was founded as an advocacy group seeking voter i.d. legislation. A secondary target is "absentee voting." According to the group's website:
"Susceptible spots in the voting process now include interception of a mailed absentee ballot that can be voted by another person or eliminated; a vulnerable absentee voter who could be coerced or intimidated to vote a certain way; an inaccurate counting of absentee ballots by tired and overworked poll workers and the resulting errors--inadvertent or otherwise. If an absentee ballot is challenged during the ballot counting process, the voter of that ballot is not present to defend that ballot and assure that it is counted, rather than thrown out."
They also criticize the "In-person absentee voting" that took place in 2008 saying it overwhelmed clerks. One of those clerks was likely Waukesha's Kathy Nickolaus who serves on the Republican Women Of Waukesha County Executive Committee with We're Watching Wisconsin Elections member Mary Ann Hanson. Getting voters to early vote was one of the primary strategies of the Obama campaign in 2008.
Jesse was born and raised in Connecticut, began blogging in 1997, and moved to Madison in 2003. In 2005, he co-founded dane101 along with Kristian Knutson and Shane Wealti. In addition to helping nearly a dozen contributors run this website he's helped launch various events in the city including What's Your Damage?!, the MadPubQuiz of Awesomeness, the Fire Ball Masquerade, Dane101's Freakin' Halloweekend, and more.