Did Several Racine Poll Workers Push for Recall of Wanggaard?

MacIver News Service | June 15, 2012

A check of databases conducted by the MacIver News Service reveals that as many as 78 of the 189 people who worked as official poll workers in the City of Racine last Tuesday may have earlier signed recall petitions that ultimately forced the elections to be conducted.

Today’s findings are a result of an open records request filed by the MacIver News Service. After Racine Assistant Clerk Donna Deuster provided the names of the poll workers, we ran their names against the iverifytherecall.com database of recall petition signers.

Earlier this week, Media Trackers reported that a chief election inspector at one location, accused of ignoring GOP complaints over a voter’s eligibility, had signed both the Gov. Walker and Sen. Wanggaard recall petitions.

Earlier, MNS reported that the Racine County Sheriff’s department is investigating allegations that election related documents were found in a dumpster behind the Chavez center.

Based on a cross check of names that appear on both the list of poll workers and the list of those who signed the recall petitions, Eight of the 17 poll workers at the Cesar Chavez Community Center, including at least one of the Chief Election Inspectors there, appear to have signed a recall petition. Six names of individuals who signed to recall Walker and seven to force the recall of Wanggaard match the list of poll workers. Two individuals may have signed Wanggaard petitions, but not the Walker petitions.

After the official canvass of election results, Senator Wanggaard was found to have lost his recall election to former Senator John Lehman by 834 votes.

On Friday, Wanggaard announced he was requesting a recount.

“This is not about maintaining power or denying Democrats power,” Wanggaard said in a statement. “But I also recognize that in the absence of a voter ID law and so many people suspicious of the election result, bitterness and division will only grow if the results are not recounted.”

The recount is likely to begin early next week and could take several days to complete.

“The recount I am requesting on behalf of more than 35,000 supporters has a simple philosophy behind it ‐ “Trust but Verify.”” said Wanggaard. “Everyone, even those who voted for my opponent, should want to end the schisms caused by the recalls. I hope that a trusted and verified result of the election will finally allow us to move forward.”

Partisans are not disqualified from being poll workers. According to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board Poll workers (election inspectors) conduct assigned duties at a polling site on Election Day. Duties can include issuing ballots to registered voters, registering voters, monitoring the voting equipment, explaining how to mark the ballot or use the voting equipment or counting votes.

The GAB website indicates that to be an election inspector (poll worker), a person must:

    • Be a qualified elector of the municipality in which the polling place is established (i.e., an adult citizen of the United States who has resided in the election district for 28 consecutive days and is not otherwise disqualified to vote)
    • Be able to speak, read, and write fluently in the English language
    • Have strong clerical skills
    • Be able to solve problems
    • Be an effective communicator
    • Not be a candidate for any office to be voted on at the polling place at that election.