June 14, 2012
Friend of the blog and contributor Lou D'Abbraccio is passionate about legal elections and leads up poll watching efforts at every election. This is the summary Lou wrote based on the recall election. It shows a disturbing trend of leftists and union thugs ingoring election law and using intimidation at the polls. In addition it appears that many poll workers just don't give a damn about the integrity of the process. When you read this it becomes clear as to why we need photo ID, it is about the integrity of the process. Here is Lou's report in full.
1. Getting people to the polls
a. Get out the vote effort: There were numerous “Get Out The Vote” efforts going on in Racine, including a major effort run from the Labor Center which utilized high school students, as well as at least one other significant independent effort.
b. School involvement: The student GOTV program, which previously was run under the direct auspices of Horlick High School, this year was “run” by "Youth Empowered for the Struggle," a youth arm of radical illegal immigrant rights group "Voces de la Frontera." Y.E.S is organized in taxpayer-funded Racine Unified public schools, with guidance from teachers who collect a paycheck from Racine taxpayers. The largest YES group is found in Racine Horlick High School, which is officially classified as a failing school by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; Despite the school's poor academic performance, they still allowed the day before final exams to be a day of partisan political activism instead of academics, by allowing students to participate in a democrat aligned Get Out The Vote effort, which was focused on majority democrat wards in the city. This activity was organized on school property, using school resources, and during school academic time. Students rode in vans covered in partisan political slogans exhorting people to vote for Barrett, Mitchell, and Lehman, and dispatched from the Labor Center - hardly neutral political ground.
c. Organizer intimidation: One of the adults associated with the Y.E.S. effort, a teacher at Racine Horlick High School, was reportedly cited by Racine Police for aggressively forcing his way into an apartment building and screaming at residents to vote.
2. Sowing chaos at the polls
a. Union presence – electioneering: Occurred at virtually every polling place in the city. Numerous polling places had a major disruptive presence of union activists. These people, in many cases clad in “blue fist” or other union attire would converge on a polling location and attempt to influence the process there, by insidiously infiltrating the polls. These volunteers would enter the polling place, and begin distributing drinks and food to voters, and directing traffic at the entrance, and would progress quickly to discussing voting with voters, and acting in a quasi-poll workers. Many attempted to provide assistance to voters.
As we have encountered this particular union tactic before, and seen the kind of chaos they can create, we pushed back hard on anyone other than voters, poll workers, and poll watchers in the polling place. We continuously had to ask the
CEI to ask these third parties to leave the polling place, or move beyond the 100 foot limit in the parking lot. At Festival Hall, two union goons wearing embroidered “Stop the War on Workers” polo shirts adorned with blue fist stickers attempted to start an altercation when I asked them to move 100 feet from the door. I called the Racine Police Department and made a complaint of illegal electioneering, and asked to have the two men escorted from the entrance.
Leftist thugs also attempted to intimidate election observers. At one polling place, Festival Hall, an election observer was threatened by a Racine leftist “community organizer” who said he would “smash her head into the pavement.”
b. Insufficient staffing: Many polling places . We received a number of complaints from poll workers that they were unable to deal with turnout which in many cases exceeded the high turnout 2008 presidential election. We noted the processing of absentee ballots by regular poll workers at each polling place, rather than by a roving absentee ballot team, which has been used to help poll workers focus on election day voters in previous high profile elections.
c. Insufficient training: Poll workers received less training than our poll watchers received. In many cases they were unfamiliar with the law, particularly with regard to same day voter registration. They had to be continually reminded about the standards for documenting residency. However, the problems encountered went far beyond this issue. Poll watchers found Chief Election Inspectors who were mishandling ballots, who ignored challenges, who ignored blatant electioneering,
d. Lack of supervision: Chief Election Inspectors are supposed to know better, but in multiple instances, we had to correct them on the conduct of their job. One, for example, went off on his own to input absentee ballots into an electronic voting machine, a serious breach of election integrity. Another allowed a poll worker to go off and canvass the neighborhood in search of votes. Still others neglected to expel loiterers and union organizers from the polling place, unless the city clerk was called.
3. Poll worker issues
a. Voter registration
i. Occupant: The statute provides for the use of utility bills as proof of residency, but they must obviously be addressed to the voter. Racine water bills are addressed to “Occupant” not a specific person. Therefore, a Racine water bill cannot be used to prove residence. However, many poll workers at polling places across the city were accepting this document, unless we specifically objected. While this resulted in no challenges and was generally dealt with informally, the repeated nature of this issue in many cases left us with no confidence that poll workers would disallow this document when we were not present.
ii. Felon List: Poll workers handling voter registration tables had to be continually reminded to verify that voters did not appear on the ineligible felon lists.
iii. Failure to uphold statutory requirements for ID/residence: In many cases, unauthorized documents were accepted as proof of residence. These included junk mail and other store fliers, hospital bills, and as one poll worker insisted to me, “anything with an account number.” In reality, commercial mail, with the exception of utility bills, is not acceptable for proving residence.
iv. Out of district voters: The Chief Election Inspector at Humble Park, a Mr. Mosby, was prepared to allow a Sturtevant resident to vote at Humble Park. It was only after I pointed out that it was an entirely different municipality that he told the voter he could not vote there. He then asked me to move so that I could not hear or see the documentation of other voters.
v. Allowed to vote 3 times: A voter at Martin Luther King Community Center was allowed to vote three times. After being challenged on the third visit to the polls, her ballot was flagged and the challenge logged, but the ballot was put into the machine.
vi. Challenge ignored : At the John Bryant Community Center, where I observed an individual attempting to register to vote, using a handwritten tear-out rent receipt, bearing the date 6/5/2012, to establish residency. I made a comment to the poll worker at the registration desk that the document did serve as proof of residency. The Chief Election Inspector, Lillie Cameron, heard my comment, walked over, and began to chastise me for talking to the poll worker.
I told her that it was my intention to challenge the elector. She ignored my statement. I told her, again, emphatically, that I challenged the elector. Ms. Cameron again ignored my challenge.
The voter, having completed his registration, got in line to vote. I waited there at the table, and when he reached the front of the line, I stated loudly and emphatically that I challenged the elector. Ms. Cameron, and the poll workers made no acknowledgment of my challenge. At that point, I began to yell “I am challenging this elector! You cannot give him a ballot!”
Ms. Cameron, and the poll workers, completely ignored my challenge, and allowed the elector to receive a ballot. They blatantly and defiantly ignored my legal right of challenge, and allowed someone to vote who had not demonstrated, according to the requirements of the law, that they were a resident of that ward and district.
vii. Announcing the voter: In many cases, poll workers had to be repeatedly reminded that voters were to state their name and address upon approaching the table, and were not to be prompted by poll workers. Prompting could facilitate election fraud.
viii. Poll workers at multiple poll locations did not require those providing assistance, including in some cases poll workers, to document that assistance was provided. In some cases, poll workers routinely offered assistance rather than wait for a request, even to those who seemingly did not require assistance.
b. Absentee ballots
i. Remaking of ballots: Because ballots were not available at the start of in person absentee voting, voters were required to use ordinary paper ballots, necessitating that the ballots be remade at the polling place prior to processing. At Chavez Community Center, and undetermined number of ballots, including those paper ballots, but possibly others besides, were not remade. Instead, they were entered directly into the electronic voting machine by a sole poll worker, who was working without supervision or corroboration. The direct entry of these ballots into the electronic touchscreen voting machine does not provide for a paper trail to ensure the will of the voter was reflected in the ballot cast.
ii. Processing absentee ballots without supervision: At Chavez, MLK, Transit Center, and other polling locations, poll watchers witnessed the mishandling of ballots, including ballots being piled haphazardly on tables out of the control of poll workers.