What the holy heck is going on in Racine?
As the recount goes on in the 21st state senate district, it just looks uglier and uglier in Racine. This is from a press release from the Van Wanggaard campaign:
Today, Recount observers in Racine discovered that ballot bags for 9 of the 36 city of Racine wards were sealed on election night, reopened, and then closed (but not sealed) again.o Once a bag is reopened, the seal will show evidence of tampering (and did)o The bags were shown to be reopened when delivered to the city clerko Upon delivery to the Racine County Clerk, the County Clerk rejected the ballot bags and sent them back to the city clerk because they were not sealed.o When the city clerk received the returned ballot bags, the city clerk’s office double bagged the original ballot bag, then sealed the double bag.o The questionable bags were then accepted by the County Clerk.
- Important Facts to Considero The city of Racine was VERY late in reporting on election night.o The questionable wards were wards where election observers reported suspicious activity on election dayo The questionable wards broke heavily for Lehman§ 91.2%§ 82.2%§ 78.1%§ 73.8%§ 72.4%§ 63.4%§ 61.0%§ 53.5%§ 52.8%o These bags were NOT overstuffed (except maybe one)o This is NOT like the Prosser/Kloppenburg bags in Waukesha County§ In Prosser/Kloppenburg, overstuffed bags we coming apart at the edges· THESE BAGS WERE REOPENED ON ELECTION NIGHT
Wanggaard Team Message
§ We have objected to counting these ballots until we have an explanation from the chief election inspector as to why the bags were reopened.
§ This is just another in a series of problems of voting in the city of Racine including:o Missing signatureso Missed Voter #’so Different Voter #’so Names not matching on poll listso Potentially invalid addresses
§ As has been the case all along – the Wanggaard campaign will make no decisions for next steps until the recount is completed and all evidence is gathered
From Mount Pleasant Patch, which other than talk radio seems to be the only media outlet reporting this:
Officials with Republican Van Wanggaard’s campaign Thursday questioned why a number of bags containing ballots from the City of Racine were opened and then “double-bagged,” or placed in a second bag.
Under Wisconsin’s election procedures, after the polls close, election workers remove the voted ballots and place them into a secured container or bag. The bag is secured using a tamper-evident numbered seal, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.
Ballot bags are supposed to have all potential openings secured in such a manner that no ballot may be removed, nor any ballot added, without visible interference or damage to that ballot container.
But Racine County Clerk Wendy Christiansen said that bags in nine of the 36 polling places in Racine in the June 5 recall election were found double-bagged.
Several chief polling inspectors, who were responsible for sealing those bags, were questioned by Wanggaard campaign officials as part of the recount process now under way at the Racine County Courthouse.
Officials with Wanggaard’s campaign asked Celeste Walker, who was the chief polling inspector at the King Center, why the initial bag hadn’t been sealed. Walker explained that she did the taping and sealing process improperly the night of the election and it wouldn’t seal.
“I have done it properly in prior elections,” she said. “This time my training failed me. I will ask for a personal demonstration in the next election so as not to cause the city clerk any undue distress.”
Quite frankly, that explanation sounds like a load of farm fertilizer. Seriously, who says, “This time my training failed me”?
When you combine the opened and re-sealed ballot bags, the pre-signed registrations found in the dumpster being investigated by the sheriff, and the unsigned log books, it just looks bad. That Lehman actually got more votes than Barrett (how the hell did that happen?), it just all looks very suspicious.
By the way, here’s a picture of one of the unsealed and re-sealed ballot bags in Racine from the MacIver Institute’s Facebook page: