Maybe we’ll be lucky in 2008 and Wisconsin won’t matter
Last week, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed a much publicized lawsuit against the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB), in an attempt to force the GAB to comply with a federal law to ensure the integrity of elections. Those of us who champion the cause of ballot security applaud the Attorney General, but his critics, including Governor Jim Doyle and the mainstream media, are assailing the move as political because Van Hollen is co-chair of GOP nominee John McCain’s Wisconsin campaign. Never mind that Doyle has been barnstorming the state for Barack Obama for months.
Congress enacted the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), in 2002 to require that states keep accurate voter databases to prevent people from voting under false names. The law requires states to perform periodic reviews of the voter files to ensure accuracy – which Wisconsin has not been doing. As a result, recent news reports have shown thousands of voter records to be inaccurate. while at the same time dozens of Democratic campaign workers are under investigation for trying to fatten the voter rolls with fraudulent voter registration cards.
The Wisconsin Democratic Party which is heavily invested in making sure voter fraud persists, has filed a motion to block Van Hollen’s lawsuit. The increasingly liberal Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been quick to carry their water, editorializing that Van Hollen’s lawsuit to force GAB compliance with the law has a “whiff of partisanship.” The paper failed to mention the “stench of incompetence” emanating from the GAB staff and Doyle Administration members charged with overseeing the project.
Last year, a state audit showed that the new voter identification system would not be ready for the 2008 presidential election. The system is now two election cycles late, and without it, municipalities won’t be able to determine if felons or other ineligible voters are casting ballots. Four years after deadline and more than $22 million later, Wisconsin still has no list.
The GAB signed a state contract with Accenture in 2004 to compile the list. The agreement paid the company $13.9 million to create a statewide list, with the help of local clerks. Yet in December of 2007, Accenture was forced to cut ties with the state, as very little progress was being made on the project. Despite not producing any list of value, Accenture was able to keep $7 million in taxpayer funds.
All of this has occurred under the watchful eye of GAB Director Kevin Kennedy and the Doyle Administration which has thrown tens of millions of tax dollars at other computer projects that never materialized.
The bottom line for voters this year is the louder the Democrats and the GAB kick and scream about having to follow the law, the more clear it becomes that vote fraud is critical to their election strategy. It is ironic that the GAB – which has the power to prosecute individuals for real or imagined campaign law violations – refuses to even follow the law itself.