June 15, 2012

Recount in the recall election that would shift the balance of power in the Wisconsin senate.

WisPolitics reports:
GOP state Sen. Van Wanggaard today requested a recount in his 834-vote loss to Dem John Lehman, raising questions about the integrity of last week's results and arguing a second count is needed to help move the state past the "schisms caused by the recalls."...

In his petition, Wanggaard alleges numerous challenges by election observers were not properly documented or acknowledged, individuals were allowed to register and vote without proper proof of residence, individuals voted in more than one location and some were given incentives to vote, among other things.

The Racine County Sheriff's Department is investigating claims that suspicious voter registration documents were found last week in a trash bin outside a polling place.
The other side criticizes Wanggard for trying to delay the power shift to the Democrats, but he defends himself, noting that the voter ID law was not in force, and "so many people [are] suspicious of the election result." Without a recount, "bitterness and division will only grow."

State Senate Democratic Committee executive director Zac Kramer calls the recount "some sort of political game."
Kramer also questioned the timing of yesterday’s announcement by Racine officials that they are looking into allegations suspicious voter registration documents were found in a trash bin outside a polling place last week. The announcement came one day before the deadline Wanggaard faced to request a recount....

“That just seems too convenient for me,” he said.
Here's a report about the suspicious documents: Somebody found a bag of "various election materials" outside the Cesar Chavez Community Center, which was a polling place in Racine.

ADDED: Let's remember how excited Democrats were when JoAnne Kloppenburg announced that she want a recount in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race last year: "A recount benefits everyone..."

103 comments:

Tom Spaulding said...

the Cesar Chavez Community Center, which was a polling place in Racine.

QED

bagoh20 said...

A margin that small should always be audited. In fact, all you really need to monitor is the small wins. It's all you need to do make cheating not worthwhile.

campy said...

But the democrat won! It's over!!

Tom Spaulding said...

ProTip, Zac...reap=sow.

Democracy DIED in Racine that evening, folks, It DIED.

Curious George said...

This is a "no brainer." That close of a margin in actual votes, forget percentage, is not unreasonable. SO if the outcome is no fraud and no change, no harm no foul. But if:

a) Outcome is reversed then GOP both hols the senate and ends forever the lefts bitching about Voter ID.

b) The out come stays the same but voter fraud is uncovered. Ends the lefts bitching about voter ID, nothing lost, and the GOP will likely regain the Senate in November so no big deal

MadisonMan said...

As althouse noted earlier this week, flip the numbers R vs. D and you can bet a recount would occur.

Ann Althouse said...

You'd think the Democrats would be thrilled at the opportunity to get proof of something they believe so strongly: that there is no fraud.

James Pawlak said...

Is this more of the usual Democrat "vote early, vote often and vote illegally"?

garage mahal said...

You'd think the Democrats would be thrilled at the opportunity to get proof of something they believe so strongly: that there is no fraud.

Who is saying there is fraud? "Somebody"? LOL.

It's just amazing that this could happen in an urban area, that happened to be the closest race in the state. Sheesh!

Matthew Sablan said...

If election observers are not being properly documented, people who are being paid to listen to them/work with them should have issues.

Original Mike said...

"You'd think the Democrats would be thrilled at the opportunity to get proof of something they believe so strongly: that there is no fraud."

In our lab, when you're being facetious it's considered polite to raise your left hand, so everybody knows you're not sincere. You need to raise your left hand, Althouse. (maybe you are. damn this internet thing.)

Jay Retread said...

Bagoh wrote "A margin that small should always be audited. In fact, all you really need to monitor is the small wins. It's all you need to do make cheating not worthwhile."

I whole heartily agree.

I hope a full review is conducted here and people like Ann do follow up posts.

Though, I doubt Ann will follow up given that it is much more fun fueling her Althouse Hillbillies' paranoia that there is an organized effort to get illegal voting going on among the darker races.

Original Mike said...

It seems to me a recount and an investigation of fraud are two different things. For one thing, they operate with completely different timelines.

Tom Spaulding said...

You'd think the Democrats would be thrilled at the opportunity to get proof of something they believe so strongly: that there is no fraud.

Democrats don't get a thrill at an opportunity to prove their assertions, they get a thrill preventing their assertions from being challenged.

Jay Retread said...

Ann, will you commit to doing a follow up post about this no matter the outcome?

Chuck said...

I think that all of the Wisconsin Senate Republicans should decamp to Mackinac Island, Michigan until the recount is completed. Let the Wisconsin State Police take the ferry to chase them down on the island.

Deny the Senate a quorum in the meantime.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

A bag of "election materials".

WTF does that mean? Ballots that were cast but weren't counted. Unused ballots< I thought the BFD was that they ran out of ballots. Extra pens that weren't used? What?

Couldn't they just try to be a bit more specific.

Patrick said...

Bagoh, normally, I'd agree with you, but two things make this different:

First, it's an election that will have no practical significance. The area is redistricted, and new elections are held in November.

Second, the State is so divided now, and this is something the Republicans can do to show the electorate that it is gracious, magnanimous and ready to, wait for it...move on. There is no strategic downside.

Small margins should always be rechecked, but here, even an audit is not likely to change the outcome, and even if the outcome is changed, it will have no practical consequence.

By the way, what is the "20" for? Were there that many Bagohs already registered on Google?!

Carnifex said...

The Cesar Chavez Community Center? You have got to be kidding me. We have a building here on the farm named after Chavez too, the Cesar Chavez Outhouse. Nothing good could ever come out of a building named after Cesar Chavez.

Jay Retread said...

Dust Bunny wrote "A bag of "election materials". WTF does that mean?"

It is going to turn out that it was get out the vote lists and the like. But why not fan the flames that minorities are voting illegally! You have to keep the Hillbillies attention diverted!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

" and even if the outcome is changed, it will have no practical consequence."

Actually, the practical consequence would be to further establish the pattern of fraudulent votes and election shenanigans to lend even more urgency to passing Voter ID laws

Matthew Sablan said...

"Bagoh, normally, I'd agree with you, but two things make this different."

-- If it were just a close election, let's recount things, I'd agree. Apparently, though, there is actual possible fraud/incompetence (really? They didn't listen when observers tried to make a challenge? They did not even acknowledge it? They gave incentives [a.k.a., bribed] voted? Individuals *voted in more than one location* [a.k.a., voter fraud]? If those are true, then it is worth it. Because crimes should be stopped.

Especially since WI is possibly in play. No reason to let a little fraud slip by now.

Dust Bunny Queen said...


It is going to turn out that it was get out the vote lists and the like


If you say so. Then WHY was this material at a polling place. Wouldn't that be illegal since no campaigning or political activity is allowed at the polling places.

Original Mike said...

"A bag of "election materials".

WTF does that mean?"


That newspaper article had a lot less info than the report I heard yesterday. The claim is they were pre-authorized voter registration forms (we have same-day registration in WI). Apparently, the authorization is suppose to be "signed" at the polling place by the election offical on-site when someone presents valid proof of eligibilty (what's accepted as proof in WI is a joke, but that's another story). These forms were already "signed". (I put signed in quotes, because I'm not sure of the exact method that approval is indicated on the form; signature, stamp, paw print, whatever.)

Matthew Sablan said...

"It is going to turn out that it was get out the vote lists and the like. But why not fan the flames that minorities are voting illegally!"

-- There are allegations of actual misconduct. Let's wait and see before we start calling people racist. That's got to be getting old.

Beta Rube said...

Lehmann would never get elected in the redrawn district he will actually be representing.

I think he will win the recount and be one and done.

Chuck66 said...

AA, good point. The best way to defeat a conspiracy theoriest is to expose him/her as a fraud.

If the Democrats do believe that little or no fraud exists, why not let this go forward. If the recount/investigation goes ahead, and:

A) No fraud is found
B) The Democrat win is upheld,

it would be a good start for that party to recover.

Matthew Sablan said...

Jay Retread: Why does the Obama campaign want to keep minorities from supporting it?

Chuck66 said...

Jay Retread, who do you hate more? Catholics, Jews or Mormans?

Alex said...

Do 100 recounts, gum up the works, protest outside the Democrats' homes.

Tom Spaulding said...

It is going to turn out that it was get out the vote lists and the like. But why not fan the flames that minorities are voting illegally! You have to keep the Hillbillies attention diverted!

Pay attention to me! I make unfounded assertions, draw premature conclusions and call people names...vote for my side!

Yeah, it was money what cost you the election.

Undoubtedly.

Jay Retread said...

If there really was organized illegal voting going on then you would think that the State Attorney General could pretty easily uncover it given that hundreds of individuals would be involved.

But is not going on because it would be the stupidest crime in the world. For an example, this State Senate election was super close but it would still require over 800 people to be a part of a conspiracy in order to swing the election the other way. On the other hand, if you got caught by law enforcement you would be convicted of a felony. It would be totally irrational to engage in such activity.

But Ann is not going to point that out to her Althouse Hillbillies.

Matthew Sablan said...

"But is not going on because it would be the stupidest crime in the world. For an example, this State Senate election was super close but it would still require over 800 people to be a part of a conspiracy in order to swing the election the other way."

-- Or two people; one stuffing ballots after the fact and a second to make sure that the voters' names being used didn't show up that day.

At least pretend to understand how to do the crime.

Matthew Sablan said...

Heck, once a tainted ballot enters the total pool, you can't take it out, since you don't know who it is. You just have to get them into the mix! One person could do it without even voting, if they were brave and had access, or just found a trunk in their car. Especially since the observers were being ignored.

garage mahal said...

AA, good point. The best way to defeat a conspiracy theoriest is to expose him/her as a fraud.

Conspiracy theorists are the people that point to multiple investigations showing that voter fraud is virtually non-existent, NOT the people who bark at the moon saying there is widespread voter fraud! No wonder this country is so fucked up.

Patrick said...

Q: "Is it your feeling that you won this election?"

A:

A:

A:

God, that was painful.

Patrick said...

No wonder this country is so fucked up.

Yeah, I mean, look at who got elected President!

Maguro said...

Retread thinks he's so clever, screaming "hillbillies" over and over again. What a schmuck.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Conspiracy theorists are the people that point to multiple investigations showing that voter fraud is virtually non-existent, NOT the people who bark at the moon saying there is widespread voter fraud!"

-- Those studies tend to be flawed. There may not be widespread voter fraud. If you manage to fake about 900 ballots, you can swing a local election. Remember when it was the left crying about sneaky electronic machines?

The biggest reason there needs to be strong safeguards is what I said above. Once a tainted ballot making its way into the general pool, it is impossible to tell the difference. Unlike most crimes, where you can be reactionary, you can't react to voter fraud. You must prevent it before it happens.

Jay Retread said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay Retread said...

Sablan wrote "-- Or two people; one stuffing ballots after the fact and a second to make sure that the voters' names being used didn't show up that day."

That would not be that difficult to uncoverand and it would still be the most stupid crime in the world given that unless you added thousands of votes to the total (i.e., multiple voting locations) then it would be statistically minuscule that you would swing the election. If you got caught engaging in that behavior you would be guaranteed to be sent to prison and have your political career ruined.

But lets not let reality intrude in your paranoid hillbilly fantasies.

DADvocate said...

Really. No one's played more political games than the Wisconsin Democratic party.

Matthew Sablan said...

"That would not be that difficult to uncoverand it would still be the most stupid crime in the world given that unless you added thousands of votes to the total (i.e., multiple voting locations) then it would be statistically minuscule that you would swing the election. If you got caught engaging in that behavior you would be guaranteed to be sent to prison and have your political career ruined."

-- Good thing you are guaranteed never to be caught because no one ever looks into it. Also, 900 ballots shifts this election. People can walk in and claim to be Eric Holder and get his ballot to vote. You only need to swing a close election a very, very little to matter.

Remember the Franken election? Voting integrity is important, why are you making it harder to get a library card in some areas than to vote?

Jay Retread said...

BUT, by all means lets have a full investigation of this election. Just don't expect Ann to do a follow up post about the results.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, seeing how well feathered supporters beds are after an election, for relatively low risk, high reward -- there's every reason to commit this crime if you were so inclined. Now, get a bunch of people who believe the opponents want to issue in an era of Jim Crow, deny women basic medical care and murder seniors, and suddenly? Suddenly you have moral, personal and financial motivations.

You are missing the whole picture.

bagoh20 said...

Patrick,

"By the way, what is the "20""

bag O H2O

An old obscure Star Trek TV series reference to how some formless aliens described the humans. Then I made a typo at the end using zero instead of O, and now I'm stuck with it forever.

It will be on my tombstone but revised to "Bag O CH2O".

Patrick said...

Nerd.

Tom Spaulding said...

BUT, by all means lets have a full investigation of this election. Just don't expect Ann to do a follow up post about the results.

Typical Lib...outsource what you demand be given to you.

How 'bout YOU follow up, since we're all too Hillbilly and are probably still blinded by your eloquent brilliance...

Patrick said...

I might have caught the word trick (though not the Star Trek reference) if the H had been capitalized.

Jay Retread said...

Sablan wrote "-- Good thing you are guaranteed never to be caught because no one ever looks into it."

The Republican Attorney General could do an investigation. But he won't because Republicans don't want to lose this false issue that justifies their Democrat voter suppression.

bagoh20 said...

I know, but without the brains, which I thing makes me a geek or worse.

Patrick said...

A subscript 2 would have really given it away.

bagoh20 said...

Now who's the nerd?

Matthew Sablan said...

"The Republican Attorney General could do an investigation. But he won't because Republicans don't want to lose this false issue that justifies their Democrat voter suppression."

-- Looks like he may get to if the recount turns up any irregularities. It's almost like there's a system!

Jay Retread said...

Tom Spaulding wrote "Typical Lib...outsource what you demand be given to you."

You are right Tom. I am probably foolish to expect Ann to be intellectually honest.

Patrick said...

My wife would say I'm in the "geek or worse" category.

Chip Ahoy said...

Jay Retread said...
Ann, will you commit to doing a follow up post about this no matter the outcome?

Why are you so concerned what Ann posts about? When are you going to get it through your thick skull this is not your blog?

Jay Retread said...

You are right Chip. I am probably foolish to expect Ann to be intellectually honest.

chickelit said...

bagoh20 wrote:
It will be on my tombstone but revised to "Bag O CH2O".

So you're planning on being embalmed with formaldehyde?

David said...

Is there any chance at all that a recount will change this result? Seems to me that there is not.

If that is the case, this recall is just as dilatory and wasteful as Kloppenbopper's was.

Hagar said...

Anybody here read Robert A. Caro's account of "Landslide Lyndon's" election to the U.S. Senate?

Bruce said...

Bagoh20: Now who's the nerd?

I think I am, because since the time you started commenting here, I not only understood your name, but also the reference.

I seem to recall that by the end of the episode, the aliens corrected themselves and started calling us humans "ugly bags of mostly water".

I am not even a big Star Trek fan, and I have no idea why I'm admitting to this in public.

EMD said...

I would have assumed that Wisconsin as a state would have a law or rule that any winning margin under x would trigger an automatic recall.

834 is not a lot of votes. I would say this regardless of who won D, or R.

Q said...

The Republican Attorney General could do an investigation. But he won't because Republicans don't want to lose this false issue that justifies their Democrat voter suppression.


What a racist fuckwit you are.

Tom Spaulding said...

You are right Tom. I am probably foolish

FIFY

Jay said...

Republicans don't want to lose this false issue that justifies their Democrat voter suppression.

Except there is no evidence, anywhere at all, of "Republican voter suppression"

You are not that bright and easily misled.

Original Mike said...

bagoh20. Boy, that went completely over my head. Which TOS episode was that? I don't remember the reference.

edutcher said...

Of course, recall.

As a great Grecian tactician once said, "Give them nothing, but take from them everything".

Jay Retread said...

If there really was organized illegal voting going on then you would think that the State Attorney General could pretty easily uncover it given that hundreds of individuals would be involved.

Of course, these people might not have all kinds of help in covering their tracks.

But is not going on because it would be the stupidest crime in the world. For an example, this State Senate election was super close but it would still require over 800 people to be a part of a conspiracy in order to swing the election the other way. On the other hand, if you got caught by law enforcement you would be convicted of a felony. It would be totally irrational to engage in such activity.

Which, of course, is why no one ever does it.

God, why do the village idiots from all the defunct blogs end up here?

bagoh20 said...

"I not only understood your name, but also the reference."

My god, nerd, cover up. There are 50 million watching.

"
So you're planning on being embalmed with formaldehyde?"


This place is over run with the varmints.

Hey Ogre, come here. We got an infestation.

Michael said...

Has it every occurred to those of you living in Wisconsin that you are in an insane asylum? That you yourself are a patient?

Wally Kalbacken said...

Talk about a blast from the past - thanks for the Kloppenburg vid! If not for that embedded video I'm confident I wouldn't have been giving her any thought. And it was a good laugh.

DADvocate said...

Wisconsin has a bunch of no count Democrats.

Revenant said...

Given how many Democratic campaign events require photo ID for access, I would really love for reporters to start asking Obama, Pelosi, et al, the following question:

"Why are you trying to keep black people out of your campaign events?"

MadisonMan said...

Ugly Bags of Mostly Water!

Patrick said...

Is there a prize here for the biggest nerd? You guys make me feel almost cool.

Matthew Sablan said...

No. I'm the one that's cool.

Scott M said...

Is there a prize here for the biggest nerd?

Yes, there are. Unsolicited submissions, however, will not be considered.

Original Mike said...

Oh, not TOS, TNG. Thanks, MM.

Original Mike said...

"You guys make me feel almost cool."

Racist!

carrie said...

Democrats never lose so, of course, you need a recount if they don't have enough votes to win, and Republicans are never supposed to win so they are supposed to just suck it up and accept it when they lose.

PatCA said...

No you know firsthand why "may you live in interesting times" is really a curse.

Petunia said...

Does going to the Star Trek convention in Vegas in August make me a nerd?

Scott M said...

Does going to the Star Trek convention in Vegas in August make me a nerd?

1) Yes, but
2) It's possible to be a "t"rekkie instead of the more chronic and incurable "T"rekkie.

Petunia said...

Just watched the clip (thanks for the link, MadisonMan). I'd have thought that the mullet would have been extinct by then.

Kirk would have just zapped the aliens. And then shagged some hot alien chick in a tinfoil bikini.

Alex said...

Kirk would have just zapped the aliens. And then shagged some hot alien chick in a tinfoil bikini.

Typical ignorant person. If you actually watched TOS(including movies) you'd know that Kirk rarely "shot first, asked questions later" and the actual # of episodes he got some hot alien chick was 25% of the total and none in the movies. In fact if you go watch "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", Kirk is the one arguing for non-hostile actions against the invader.

Petunia said...

Lighten up, Alex.

And quit the personal attacks.

Scott M said...

Typical ignorant person. If you actually watched TOS(including movies) you'd know that Kirk rarely "shot first, asked questions later" and the actual # of episodes he got some hot alien chick was 25% of the total and none in the movies. In fact if you go watch "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", Kirk is the one arguing for non-hostile actions against the invader. = Nerd.

"T"rekkie

Original Mike said...

"In fact if you go watch "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", Kirk is the one arguing for non-hostile actions against the invader."

That movie needed a serious dose of Kirk zapping aliens. And then he should have shagged the hot alien with the shaved head.

Alex said...

Petunia - it just drives me crazy to keep hearing that canard about Kirk! It's like all the people who keep talking about "Bedtime for Bonzo" when Reagan ever comes up!

Scott M said...

Are you suggesting that Reagan had sex with green chicks?

Alex said...

For all of you who think Star Trek is about Kirk banging alien chicks - I invite you to take the door that leads to "reality television" and leave thoughtful science fiction to the rest of us.

Fucking idiots.

Alex said...

Let me guess - "2001" bored you to tears as well.

kimsch said...

I've always pronounced bagoh20 "bag o'water". Only my husband and I hear it though. I'll tell him something like Bag o'water at Althouse has a great comment" and then read the comment...

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

I hate to reinforce Alex's crankiness, but he's pretty much correct here. Kirk hooked up with a pretty small number of women, actually; and if you eliminate those episodes where he feigned interest as part of some plot, the number is even smaller.

His whole reputation stems pretty much from one scene which was very racy by 1968 TV standards: Kirk on his bed putting on his boots while a woman stands nearby brushing her hair. It's strongly implied what happened just before that scene. For 1968 TV, that was explicit. By today's standards, it's a yawner.

Alex said...

Martin - thank you! For Kirk at his best - "The City on the Edge of Forever", "Mirror, Mirror" and Star Trek II.

kcom said...

Kimsch, when I look at your name I always think "Kim Chee" in my head. No offense whatsoever intended.

kcom said...

Of course, I also think of this place as Ye Olde Althouse. Or, Yalthouse for short. Don't know why.

wv: antwork

tiger said...

DRTA but Kloppenberg's attitude STILL gets on my nerves:

"Winning" by 250 votes is a mandate but losing but 7000+ needs a recount.

What a nit-wit.

tiger said...

'False claims' of voting irregularity?

1) The 2000 election when buses to be used to take voters to the polls had their tires slit. By Democrats

2) The State rep from Hales Corners who lost an election and then went back to look at all the same-day/prior week registrations and found 1500 (FIFTEEN HUNDRED!!!) addresses than didn't exist were used by people voting


3) The 2004 election when Milwaukee County announced that A) there had been 5000 more votes than registered voters and B) There was nothing to see here.

And
4) From last week when a woman in Racine was at the polls and a man three people ahead used HER HUSBAND'S name to vote. She pointed this out to the elections officials who told her they were not required to ask for ID and there was nothing they would do. I heard other stories along the same lines - by an election observer.

Fen said...

this is something the Republicans can do to show the electorate that it is gracious, magnanimous and ready to, wait for it...move on. There is no strategic downside. Said Lucy. "Now kick this damn football, Charlie Brown!"

leslyn said...

tiger, don't forget the two bags of votes the Waukesha clerk found after the Supreme Four election.

leslyn said...

This is a nonstory about the obvious. Of course such a small margin would impell the loser to ask for a recount. And of course the other side jeers. Politics as usual.

But the justification is laughable. " Without a recount, "bitterness and division will only grow." As if Walker & the repugs didn't do as much as they can already. "Divide and conquer."

Post: "Here's a report about the suspicious documents: Somebody found a bag of "various election materials" outside the Cesar Chavez Community Center, which was a polling place in Racine."

That has about as much reliability as "the boy who lived in the woods." Sooooo convenient. The timing, the Cesar Chavez polling place, the "suspicious" materials. Is no one smart enough to ask, "Who found them?" "Are they cleaned of fingerprints?" "Could the same materials be used by Ds OR Rd?" And the easiest one: "When was the last trash pickup?"

Althouse post a followup? Only if it suits the purpose of firing up the devoted followers. Do you think there'd be a followup on George Zimmerman's hiding $150,000 from the court? Or the fact that all but three of the Wis Dems agreed to Walker's "beer and brats" meeting? Nahhh. That would be too balanced.

leslyn said...

Earlier post should say Supreme Court.