Eligible citizens deserve to have their votes counted. A rule the state Attorney General wants to impose would disenfranchise voters and cause election chaos, says the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, a nonpartisan organization that encourages informed and active participation in government.The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin states, “Attorney General Van Hollen is seeking to overturn a recent decision of the Government Accountability Board and change election procedures--just before a Presidential Election. He wishes to impose an emergency rule dealing with matching the statewide voter registration list with the Department of Transportation database. Federal law (HAVA) requires that this matching be done. Matching is already being done in Wisconsin. What HAVA does not require is that people with non-matching data be disqualified from casting a regular ballot on Election Day. The Attorney General’s proposal would result in persons with non-matched data to clear up the “nonmatch” or re-register at the polls or use provisional ballots on Election Day…”
“All kinds of simple inconsistencies (e.g. La Follette in one data base and LaFollette in the other) and clerical errors (e.g. Mary K. Jones in one data base and Mayr K. Jones in another) can result in a non-match. Other examples include problems with hyphenated names, names with two words (e.g. MaryKay vs. Mary Kay); first or middle initials (present in one data base only); first names that look like last names and vice versa.”
The lawsuit has come under fire from others, as well.Wisconsin Election Protection, a coalition formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process, has voiced objections to purging voters from the registration rolls whose names do not make a "complete match" to the voter's ID information and other government databases.
Mike McCabe of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a non-partisan political watchdog group that works for clean government, criticizes the lawsuit.“This lawsuit smells of political mischief,” observes a recent Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial.
Van Hollen claims that the lawsuit was not motivated by partisan ties and he knew of no ties between his agency and the Republican Party on the issue. But not only is Van Hollen co-chair of GOP nominee John McCain’s presidential campaign, the JS informed us that GOP lawyer Chris Mohrman pressed the Government Accountability Board to enact a rule on checking voter information--and when it refused in August--Mohrman complained to the Department of Justice. The newspaper also reported that the lead Dept. of Justice attorney for the Attorney General’s lawsuit met with Republican Party representatives about a week before the suit was filed.
Well, one doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to conclude that Van Hollen was deceitful or clueless about what’s happening within his own Department and the state Republican Party.
The Capital Times argues that the Attorney General's vote lawsuit threatens to undermine democracy.Milwaukee Magazine has an interesting article about the suit and provides some background. It also includes a reference to an Associated Press story, which reported that ten voters complained to the Government Accountability Board that the McCain campaign sent Democrats the wrong ballot mailing information (poll location). State Republican Party Executive Director Mark Jefferson denied this was part of any voter suppression effort. He dismissed it as a mistake in the voter data the party had and noted that "no list is perfect."
Milwaukee Magazine suggests Jefferson might want to pass that thought on to the attorney general.