The Chicago Machine Has Nothing On Racine

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The Chicago Machine Has Nothing On Racine

CREATED Jun. 28, 2012

What a mess!

Unofficial results suggest that on June 5th, former State Senator John Lehman beat Van Wanggard in the recall election.  Or did he?

Whatever the outcome, the shady tactics embraced by school officials coupled with the sheer incompetence displayed by various Racine polling officials is truly breath-taking.

First, there are reports that the day before the election, several hundred Racine High School students were excused from class to engage in voter turnout efforts.  Here's where it gets really good though. 

The "turnout efforts" were directed by uber-left leaning Voces de la Frontera, an aggressive immigrant rights group opposed to pretty much everything that Governor Walker and Senator Wanggard stand for.  

What's more, the voter turnout effort was concentrated almost exclusively in heavily Democrat leaning wards in Racine.  In some cases, students were brought from GOP leaning wards, through mixed wards, and tasked with turning out voters in Democrat wards.  It would be unbelievable - except it appears to be true.

The "youth organizer" for the group claims that students talked to 1300 people who didn't plan on voting but committed to do so after speaking with students.  In a race decided by 800 votes, this could well be the difference.  Thank you Racine public schools - a seemingly taxpayer funded arm of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

By the way, if you believe that it was simply happenstance that Voces de la Frontera directed its student turnout the vote effort in heavily Democrat wards .... Well, if you believe this, be sure to tuck your shoulder when you fall off the turnip truck - or the union van as the case may be.

It gets better though.

Under Wisconsin law, voters are required to sign the poll book before voting.  This is meant to assure that the person voting is who he/she claims to be - and is important absent a requirement that a voter provide photo identification.  It is especially important for cases of same day registrations where there is no record of the person prior to election day.

In any event, it turns out that perhaps hundreds of voters (again in heavily Democrat-leaning wards in the City of Racine) were not required to sign the poll book prior to voting (if at all). This is a clear violation of State law.  The Government Accountability Board acknowledges the violation of law but essentially says there's nothing to be done "because it is impossible to know which ballot was cast by a voter who did not sign".

That, of course, is precisely the point. State law was not followed - but there's no way of correcting it.

There are also allegations of suspicious voter registration forms found in a dumpster and people being allowed to vote with questionable proof-of-residency. I frankly don't know what to make of these claims.

Nevertheless, from the role of the school system in driving Democrat voter turnout to the curious failure to follow the law in heavily Democrat wards to all the other problems, the whole thing seems - well - skeezy.  I don't really know if that's a word but it should be - because that's exactly how to describe the situation in Racine.

I'm not prepared to say that John Lehman wouldn't have won anyway had all this stuff not happened.   The point is though that this was a close election - and now there's uncertainty about the legitimacy of the process.

Regardless of whether or not Lehman is ultimately declared the winner, changes need to be made before the Presidential election in November.

First, If the school system decides to get in bed with Voces de la Frontera again, they should insist that any student driven voter turnout effort be directed evenly across the county.  Better yet, simply avoid getting involved with the group in the first place and avoid the inevitable problems.

Second, regarding the polling places, is it really that difficult to follow the law?  

I mean, are fair elections too much to ask for?  Even in Racine?

Or am I aiming too high? 

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