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Election Protection Hotline Keeping Busy with Confused Voter Calls

Questions about requirements for Election Day Registration, poll workers improperly asking voters' ID and deceptive robocalls suggesting voters who signed petitions or voted in earlier elections did not have to vote again are among reported issues.

Hundreds of voters have called into the Election Protection Hotline during the Recall Election on Tuesday seeking information and reporting a number of problems at poll locations throughout the state, according to a press release from the Election Protection organization.

More from the release:

As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, Election Protection received 594 calls from the state of Wisconsin with polling place inquiries, questions about the residency requirements needed for Election Day Registration, poll workers improperly asking voters to present ID in order to vote, and deceptive robocalls suggesting voters that who signed petitions or voted in earlier elections did not have to vote today.  Additionally, Election Protection received 519 calls over the weekend and on Monday from Wisconsin voters.

Over half of the calls have been from callers needing polling place information; many were not notified about polling place changes due to redistricting. Additionally there has been a lot of confusion about the 28-day residency requirements for Election Day Registration, especially how they relate to students now home from school and the documents needed for this new requirement.  More troubling have been reports from callers indicating that poll workers are turning away voters based on confusion about the proof of residency requirements, including being asked for photo ID, despite the recently passed photo ID law being enjoined by the law. The Wisconsin photo ID law is currently enjoined and voters ARE NOT required to present ID to cast a ballot today.

Below are some of highlighted issues being reported:

  • Voters initially turned away despite providing sufficient proof of residency;
  • Voter was challenged by poll worker because she did not provide a photo ID; however, when the voter threatened to record the conversation, the poll worker apologized and allowed her to vote;
  • Voter received a letter in the mail falsely stating that her polling location had changed because of an event;
  • Voter reported being turned away and witnessing others turned away despite providing sufficient proof of residency;
  • Voters reported being challenged repeatedly by the same poll worker, but having no problems with a different poll worker;
  • Voter received a voicemail from an unidentified voicemail falsely stating that if you voted in a recall primary you don't need to vote in the recall election);
  • Voter reported individuals wearing "Vote!" teachers providing incorrect and misleading information to voters about the location of their polling location. They suspected that these individuals were attempting to dissuade voters by frustrating and misleading them;
  • A voter reported that he and his wife encountered people inside the polling place (not officials) yelling at him “you better not vote for Scott Walker,” and another individual asking to see their ballots and, when they refused, accusing them of being Republicans;
  • Poll workers were making mistakes by marking the wrong names on the voter roll, and not monitoring the polling boxes;
  • Leading up to the elections Milwaukee County buses had false information about photo ID laws, dissuading voters because of their lack of ID.

Election Protection had trained volunteers answering the hotline and being dispatched to polling locations in Milwaukee who are working with election officials to help direct voters to the appropriate polling place and quickly resolve problems as they occurred. Election Protection’s on the ground team remains stationed at polls across the state to ensure every voter’s ballot is properly accounted for.

If voters feel that their rights are being denied or experienced intimidation at the polls, they should contact Election Protection’s 866-OUR-VOTE hotline immediately. Election Protection is responding to voter requests for assistance and reports of all problems at the polls made to the hotline (1-866-OUR-VOTE), website (www.866OurVote.org ) and Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/866OURVOTE). 

If you or anyone you know has questions about your voting rights, the 1-866-OUR-VOTE Hotline has hundreds of trained Election Protection volunteers and legal experts available to provide direct assistance to voters in Wisconsin. Election Protection helps voters understand their rights, verify their registration status, find their polling place, and resolve Election Day issues.

James R Hoffa June 05, 2012 at 09:28 PM
"… questions about the residency requirements needed for Election Day Registration," This is what concerns me the most, as this is where the potential for fraud occurs. Especially given all the internet talk about bussed in people from out-of-state on both sides and last year's union officials from FL using a hotel in Milwaukee from which to register and vote in our elections. "especially how they relate to students now home from school" Students domiciled here can vote here. But I do have a problem with students that are domiciled out-of-state but attend school here part of the year, and are allowed to vote in our elections - this needs to change! Remember last year when around 65 students domiciled in Minnesota but attended school in Wisconsin cast absentee ballots in our recall elections, and then also proceeded to vote in regular elections in Minnesota? That shouldn't be allowed to occur! We need a better system to maintain the integrity of our elections! Voter ID is a step in the right direction, but not perfect in and of itself. I just want a fair election and I want a system in place that makes me feel that the integrity of our vote is preserved. Is that too much to ask?
jessica perez June 06, 2012 at 12:18 AM
You are right. This is a very troubling post and I suspect the labor union has played a large role in the misinformation and outright lies being told to these voters! This is ridiculous! People suspected of poll tampering need to be prosecuted. And they should investigate those letters and robocalls and false advertising as well. That is fraud and it should be prosecuted. It only continues because so many turn a blind eye in the name of political correctness.

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