April 9, 2011

John Fund on the Wisconsin Supreme Court election: "an independent investigation is called for..."

In the Wall Street Journal:
An independent investigation is called for, if for no other reason than to clear the air and to recommend procedures to ensure such errors don't happen again. Just as many Wisconsin officials have ignored or downplayed evidence of vote fraud (see the Milwaukee Police Department's 2008 detailed investigation) so too have sloppy election procedures been allowed to fester in some counties.

If the mistake was innocent, it resulted from a lack of transparency.... [T]his should be a wake-up call for the state's election officials. It's time that Wisconsin update its election laws for the 21st century. Ideas from both major parties -- ranging from Democratic suggestions that county clerks not be elected as partisan officials to GOP objections to the practice of allowing voters to register and vote at the same time on Election Day -- should be on the table.
Translation: Republicans should embrace and leverage the Democrats' fears.

54 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Maybe the independent court system can appoint the investigators.

JohnnyT1948 said...

It is really funny to see all the calls in Daily Kos and Democratic Underground for changes in Wisconsin election laws. Many are incredulous that people don't have to sign a voter log when showing up to vote. They don't realize that Jim Doyle wielded his veto pen several times to prevent voter ID from passing.

EnigmatiCore said...

He's right on this.

We need to invest in better systems and procedures to ensure the integrity of votes.

I want to disenfranchise non-existent voters. I want to disenfranchise ineligible voters. And I want to make sure every single validly cast vote is counted a single time, no more and no less.

traditionalguy said...

There is no independent body to investigate Election procedures. The way we do that is for two competing parties to watch one another. Corruption happens when one party is in control with no competition. It is to insure that a two party system works that the media reporters become the all important ingredient.

Fen said...

No. The Democrats will hijack any "independent" investigation and turn it into a circus.

The ONLY way this makes sense is if Dems agree to real election reform - no more double-residence voting, no more union bribes to get people to the polls, no more zombie votes.

MadisonMan said...

Corruption happens when one party is in control with no competition.

This explains the Legislative and Executive branches of the Wisconsin State Govt perfectly!

Off to Milwuakee!

EnigmatiCore said...

"There is no independent body to investigate Election procedures."

Four words too long.

Same goes for non-partisan. Ain't no such thing.

James said...

Fund needs to make up his mind: was it a "reporting error" as stated in the first paragraphy or a "counting error" as claimed in the second?

TMink said...

It seems to me that what happened was that the Rs knew the Ds would get enough faked ballots to barely win. Perhaps that is the way they have been doing it latley, say in near by Minnesota.

Expecting this, the Rs got half the votes in their candidate's home district. This gave the Ds a false figure to beat, which they did. Later release of the actual ballot count left them thousands of ballots short in their attempt to bugger democracy.

The responses from the Ds makes me think this scenario is quite possible.

Trey

Fen said...

I like that theory, but the vote totals in queston were already posted by the county around 12AMish election night.

Freeman Hunt said...

Democratic suggestions that county clerks not be elected as partisan officials

Translation: "Democratic suggestions that candidates for county clerk be able to hide their partisanship during elections"

James said...

BTW, the Supreme Court elections are non-partisan and what did it get up this time?

Perhaps I should expect to see call to appoint SC justices instead.

PJ said...

Trey, same thing occurred to me. I can't decide whether we should be ashamed of ourselves or whether there's no such thing as too cynical in this game.

kent said...

An independent investigation is called for, if for no other reason than to clear the air and to recommend procedures to ensure such errors don't happen again.

I must have missed Fund's equally ringing declaration post Franken in Minnesota, and Gregoire in Washington state.

Odd, that.

Cato Renasci said...

If this can lead to better voter ID requirements for registration, and do away with same-day registration and 'motor voter' laws, that would be worth a great deal!

Better accountability - make sure only citizens are voting, and that all citizens who vote have their votes counted - that's fine with most conservatives!

LL said...

There should always be some sort of reform or overhaul when the Democrats don't get the results they want. For Republicans, that won't be necessary.

My word verification was korypea.

george said...

It is obvious to anyone with any common sense that an election without an ID requirement is never completely legitimate. The only reason for such a thing would be if one side wanted to cheat.

ricpic said...

"No mistakes allowed in the 21st century! Because, because...it's the 21st century!!"

"Is farting still allowed?" '

"Yes, but only SBD's. No LAD's."

EnigmatiCore said...

Freeman- the way Kloppenburg hid hers.

Mr. D said...

You translated Fund quite nicely. There would be plenty of potential advantage to an investigation that looked at how elections are conducted, especially if practices in Milwaukee County get scrutiny as well.

vet66 said...

I am curious as to the status of military votes being counted and if the ballots were sent out on time to allow them to be counted?

KenK said...

Hoist on their own petard.

paul a'barge said...

Translation: Republicans should embrace and leverage the Democrats' fears.

From Fund? Nope.

Transparent, fraud-proof, rigorous voting procedures, including mandatory picture IDs before voting are good for what ails everyone. They are good for Freedom and Democracy.

Not just DEMONcrats.

PJ said...

vet66, that story won't be covered unless NMM takes an interest in it.

PaulV said...

James said...
"Fund needs to make up his mind: was it a "reporting error" as stated in the first paragraphy or a "counting error" as claimed in the second?"

James, it was both. AP made a reporting error and computer made a counting error.

PaulV said...

Can the election reform vote be timed so fleebaggers leave the state during recall elections?

edutcher said...

As I've said along.

Glad someone like Fund agrees, but, yes, the Demos like the system crooked and are crying only because the got beaten, perhaps as Trey says, by being anticipated by the Republicans.

PS The Blonde couldn't believe the scenario Trey and others have laid out. In NE OH, Republicans don't have much chance anyway.

Hagar said...

This is nonsense.
There was not even a "reporting error" since this had nothing to do with the official vote count, or canvas.

No doubt Wisconsin, like the 49 other states, would benefit from tightening up their election procedures, but this had nothing to do with that.

George said...

"PaulV said...
James said...
"Fund needs to make up his mind: was it a "reporting error" as stated in the first paragraphy or a "counting error" as claimed in the second?"

James, it was both. AP made a reporting error and computer made a counting error."

Sorry wrong. The votes were counted properly the night of the election, and that count has not changed. What did not work was the system to take those counts and provide them for reporting to the public. I won't say that it isn't important to have accuracy in the reporting...the public wants to know...but what failed has nothing to do with the official legal process of who votes, counting the votes, or certifying the votes. Zero. votes

Dad29 said...

Well, there's ONE new procedure that will come from this: a final visual two-person check of the spreadsheet before transmitting to AP.

Although one has to ask: why is the AP the tin god? The canvass IS the 'final visual two-person (and more) check'.

PETER V. BELLA said...

This was no honest mistake or human error. This was intentional. Heads should roll.

Phil 3:14 said...

Shorter Fund:

I'm not sayin'; I'm just sayin'

Hagar said...

Am I not correct that the county clerks report their progressive vote totals to the state computer system as the precincts come in, and AP get its numbers from the State?

It seems that, if anything, the State should hold off on releasing numbers until they have been checked, and should tell AP and other media to go get their own numbers, if they don't want to wait for the official ones!

DADvocate said...

To be fair to Fund, he roundly criticized Franken's elelction, too. I see more of genuine human error and possible incompetence in Wisconsin than I did in Minnesota.

kent said...

To be fair to Fund, he roundly criticized Franken's elelction, too.

I stand corrected.

Hagar said...

May you never make an error transmitting selected columns from your spreadsheets!

Almost Ali said...

Keep the corruption, just tell us how many of the 265,000 fraudulent Kloppenburg votes came from Illinois.

Carol_Herman said...

Would you hire this jerk, who left off an entire town's submission ... to have the math skills to do your tax return?

Oh, yeah. The clown was trying to "sell" her "specially developed software" ... and nobody else in any other Wisconsin country bought it!

On the other hand, why was Dane County allowed to submit "last?" And, how come there are 18,000 ballots that only have one check mark made on it? Where at least the mayor's race was equally hot.

If you took a ballot, in California, and you checked off NOTHING in protest. Your ballot would be rejected ... the same way an optical scanner would NOT scan your answer sheet ... if, to win, you just filled out all the bubbles?

The "final tally" which gets certified, comes out on April 15th (at the latest).

What is so sad is that among one and a half million voters ... this "find" of 7,000 votes is considered the "big difference."

Two less than stellar candidates.

How many Al Franken units?

How come it seems so hard for politicians to get voting done fairly; when most of us have no trouble at all using a bank's ATM machines?

You know,at the ATM machine, I'm recognized by some sort of security detail.

We have polling stations ... where you can hit more than one in a day ... and steal like crazy!

Tell John Fund he should detail the way votes get stolen.

"Holding back" legitimate votes, however, kept the unions from climbing in with 8,000 more "single-checked" ballots for Kloppenburg! Not that they couldn't.

And, exactly how many votes went into the machinery beforehand? So that computers weren't reset to ZERO. Or, they got "reset" to ZERO often?

Don't trust the lot of 'em.

At least in presidential elections, we get journalists who go and collect exit data.

hombre said...

It appears from the news coverage that the checking procedure already in place led to the discovery of the error. So what is the problem, aside from the fact that Prosser's opponents are crybabies?

Maybe if election officials were reminded that their first obligation is to the integrity of the count, not to the demands of the press for immediate results, these issues could be minimized.

Fen said...

So what is the problem, aside from the fact that Prosser's opponents are crybabies

Its not fair. If the MSM can't get accurate vote tallies, they can't leak it for the Dems to know how many votes to manufacture.

Carol_Herman said...

Ah, yes. At the top of the news there is NO news! Have you seen the AP coming along to tell you NO ONE ON THEIR STAFF OF STAFFS could do the math?

HELLO.

If you're going to report numbers, you should be skilled enough to do your own checking!

While from Milwaukee, the JS Online (Journal Sentinel) kept the numbers going all night. And, then, at 100% they listed Kloppenberg's "unofficial" win.

Well, if you can't do the math. And, then the AP fails to report its own colusion ... AS IF all they had to do was give the unions a count where they could move the goal posts.

You bet, like Napoleon at Waterloo ... this was one of those "cul-de-sacs" that doesn't seem to have an exit strategy.

It still ain't over! Who sez that legitimate numbers will be "certified" by April 15th?

Creative accounting like this, if you did it on your tax return ... you'd go to jail.

Now, you tell me, why did JS Online remove ALL it's numbers in the Kloppenburg/Prosser race?

Or can "journalists" just do what they want. Never fearing, even, Dan Rather's ghost.

This race, meanwhile, was just practice for 2012. You can't fool me. There's no candidate out there who moves the margins ... the way Reagan moved the margins against Mondale, in 1984.

To help you remember the blowout, Mondale only won one state. His own. While Gore, in 2000, clearly did NOT win his own! Tennessee went emphatically for Dubya.

So, you got Florida.

Perhaps, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will try to dismiss Prosser's participation ... and come out 3/3 ...

Will Prosser be told to take his hat, as he's shoved out the door?

Ya got a crystal ball? Would mere stupidity have been enough for the AP to claim it had 100% of all the votes counted? Behind the scenes, are the daggers out?

Milwaukee said...

Bring it on. Turn on the big lights and see what is out there. Publish the names, addresses and precincts of all who voted in that election, noting who voted by ballot on the day, and who voted absentee. Publish their poll number, so we have some idea of when in the day they did vote. Let us all get a good look at the whole state. Sure, there are some names with more than one person. But are there college students voting absentee and at school? Are there unusually many people voting from certain addresses? Are there people who supposedly voted, who don't remember voting?

The Democrats don't want Voter ID? Let's have "Voter Light".

I know of an individual who moved to Georgia in the Fall of 2008. That person is still registered in Dane County. Why, when that person got a Georgia Drivers License, and was then registered in Georgia, their voter registration canceled in Wisconsin? I'm sure the Wisconsin Drivers License was canceled.

Bring it on Democrats. This is a fight you are not going to win.

Joe said...

In this case, Fund is being naive. We already know how to improve elections and there is no need to waste money on yet another investigation that will be ignored. Requiring ID is the single most important thing we can do and is already done my state as well as many others. Purging voter rolls should be done more frequently (I'd require voters to vote at least once every four years or be purged.)

We KNOW absentee ballots are prone to corruption and mistakes, yet states keep expanding the programs to people who don't really need it.

Conserve Liberty said...

I can't tell you how many times I have edited a spreadsheet from the TEMP Folder, saved it with CTRL_S (to the TEMP Folder), then attached the same-named file from the hard disk to an email that was the previous version!

It helps to read.

The votes were counted in Brookfield. They were reported to the county and POSTED ON BROOKFIELD'S WEBSITE before midnight. The county clerk updated her spreadsheet, but sent a prior version to AP.

The state did NOT stand between the counties and AP.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

If the mistake was innocent, it resulted from a lack of transparency

It was so transparent that the correct count got into the local newspaper on Election Night. Seems that Ms. Althouse caught evidence of it that evening as well.

I'd suggest it wasn't so much innocent, as inept.

vnjagvet said...

This so-called investigation is nothing more than a fishing expedition. From a simple crosscheck of the originally reported county results with each precinct's results you can tell whether the City's votes have been double counted.

The Kloppers' goal will be to make the process seem mysterious and sinister for propaganda effect so that they can somehow make the investigation about the Clerk and not about the ballot count.

LGD said...

Milwaukee County has still not finished counting. But they have found 650+ more Kloppenburg votes [and 99 Prosser votes]. They've quit for the weekend, unfinished. I want Milwaukee County's clerk to appear before the cameras to explain the poor arithmetic skills of himself and all municipal clerks here. I want the state election commission to hold a press conference mocking them. I want Prosser lawyers all over this county. I want what happened to this week in Waukesha to happen next week in Milwaukee.

CWC said...

Fund has been criticizing the US voting system for a long time. He even wrote a book (the book?) about it in 2004: Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy. He says the way elections are run in the US are what you would expect in "an emerging Third World country rather than the world's leading democracy". I agree with that. But then I'm from a country (Australia) that runs elections very well, though with a much smaller population.

(While I'm here: Mr Fund is basically conservative. Finding out what he's written about other elections would probably require subscribing to the WSJ's "Political Diary", where most of his reporting appears.)

MadisonMan said...

Where at least the mayor's race was equally hot.

Stop trying to sell this notion. You look ridiculous.

Placeholder said...

Milwaukee County has still not finished counting. But they have found 650+ more Kloppenburg votes [and 99 Prosser votes]. They've quit for the weekend, unfinished. I want Milwaukee County's clerk to appear before the cameras to explain the poor arithmetic skills of himself and all municipal clerks here.

When they find another 25,000 votes, then we can talk. Until then, I'm afraid that the stupid Republican bimbo from Waukesha remains the bimbo of the week. But hey, if you win, you'll take it.

bagoh20 said...

Investigate! It will be wonderful when it's revealed that the Dems are both dishonest and inept. Oh yea, AND YOU LOST! A good night all around.

Revenant said...

Politically, I think it would be a clever move for Republicans to call for an investigation. They get to look magnanimous, and it'll give them ammunition the next time a close election goes to a Democrat because of fishy ballots.

Tully said...

Sounds to me like Fund is whining that journalist's errors of inattentiveness to detail should be cause for investigations of others.

Karga said...

In any civilized country the elections are open to the citizens who take care to register at the age the country says one is now allowed to vote. To register one has to provide suitable documentation to prove citizenship. After registration any voter at the time of vote has to present suitable documentation to prove who s/he is. Now is the US a civilized country? Is the US that claims must export their kind of democracy to the world? Why then the authorities do not adopt a system as described above so that we eliminate any questions of electoral corruption? Is it so difficult to do so or is it somehow proof that the authorities are not interested to eliminate the said corruption. And please no telling me all that ... we are free...etc...