Skip to comments.Update: Romney Campaign May Sue to Guarantee Wisconsin's Military Voters' Ballot Access
Posted on 10/02/2012 12:04:30 PM PDT by Hunton Peck
State Election Officials Downplay Errors by Municipal Clerks
[Madison, Wisc...] The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board could be facing a lawsuit because 30 municipalities failed to send absentee ballots to military and overseas voters, a mistake a GAB official downplayed Tuesday afternoon.
"The Department of Justice will file a lawsuit when UOCAVA [Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voter Act] is violated, and we've been in contact with them about Wisconsin and other states," Ryan Williams, spokesperson for the Romney campaign told the MacIver News Service. "If the Department of Justice does not act, we're willing to file the paperwork with the courts to ensure military members are able to vote and have their votes counted."
The Romney campaign has been monitoring UOCAVA compliance across the country, and not just battleground states. Violations were also discovered in Vermont, Mississippi and Michigan.
The campaign was paying close attention to Wisconsin, in particular, because the state has been in trouble before because of UOCAVA problems. Only six months ago, a Federal Court entered a consent decree against Wisconsin and the Government Accountability Board for similar violations
"That's why our campaign looked at Wisconsin and requested information from the Government Accountability Board about the military ballots," Williams said. "We made a FOIA request from the GAB in mid-September, and the GAB dragged its feet."
The Romney campaign did not receive any response until after the 45-day deadline passed. Campaign officials wanted to know about ballot requests before the deadline, so action could be taken to keep Wisconsin in compliance with federal law.
When the campaign finally received a spreadsheet from the GAB and saw more than two dozen municipalities failed to meet the deadline, it sent a letter from former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Anthony Principi, on Monday.
"According to multiple independent studies, the full 45-day period is necessary, due to delays in international mail, to ensure the effective voting rights of military voters stationed overseas. A period of less than 45 days does not allow sufficient time for members of our armed forces to receive, complete, and return their absentee ballots," Principi wrote. "Your office's violations therefore may deprive service members of their fundamental right to vote."
Williams said the campaign had not received a response from the GAB as of 11:30 am (CST) on Tuesday. The GAB also did not respond to a request for comment by MNS, but did provide the spreadsheet it sent to the campaign indicating the municipalities that failed to comply and a tally of affected overseas voters.
By the GAB's calculation, 39 voters may not be able to receive their ballots and turn them back by the current statutory deadline.
"It doesn't matter what the number is," Williams said. "We're making sure every ballot counts." According to the GAB, the following municipalities missed the 45-day federal deadline:
TOWN OF LA POINTE CITY OF CHETEK TOWN OF ROOSEVELT TOWN OF BIRCH CREEK VILLAGE OF BLUE MOUNDS TOWN OF STANTON TOWN OF NASHVILLE TOWN OF WABENO TOWN OF JAMESTOWN VILLAGE OF HIXTON TOWN OF GARDEN VALLEY VILLAGE OF SULLIVAN TOWN OF LAKE MILLS TOWN OF FAIRFIELD CITY OF NEW LISBON TOWN OF SCHLESWIG TOWN OF SPIDER LAKE TOWN OF PACKWAUKEE TOWN OF UNION VILLAGE OF PLUM CITY TOWN OF RICHWOOD TOWN OF RICHLAND TOWN OF BELLE PLAINE TOWN OF TREMPEALEAU TOWN OF SPRINGBROOK TOWN OF EVERGREEN TOWN OF OASIS TOWN OF DAKOTA TOWN OF OMRO CITY OF KIEL
The State of Wisconsin actually has a tougher requirement. It has determined ballots should be sent 47 days prior to the election. The GAB indicates that the following municipalities missed that deadline, but complied with the federal 45-day requirement:
TOWN OF BERGEN TOWN OF RAYMOND TOWN OF DEWEY TOWN OF STEPHENSON TOWN OF SIGEL VILLAGE OF HAMMOND TOWN OF FRANKLIN TOWN OF SAUKVILLE TOWN OF CLAYTON VILLAGE OF EGG HARBOR CITY OF OCONTO TOWN OF ARGONNE CITY OF EVANSVILLE TOWN OF NEW HAVEN TOWN OF BERRY TOWN OF BEAVER DAM VILLAGE OF GERMANTOWN TOWN OF PARIS VILLAGE OF MAZOMANIE TOWN OF ENTERPRISE TOWN OF HOLLAND CITY OF MONTELLO TOWN OF WEIRGOR TOWN OF PLATTEVILLE TOWN OF DUNN TOWN OF MAPLE GROVE VILLAGE OF HAUGEN TOWN OF AMBERG
On Tuesday Morning, GAB Spokesperson Reid Magney emailed the MNS a database and explained the excel spreadsheet as: "The first tab is all the responses to our survey. The second one is the munis who missed the 47-day state deadline. The third tab is the munis who missed the 45-day federal deadline."
Hours later, we received another statement from the GAB spokesperson that appeared to minimize the impact of the mistakes. We print Magney's new statement in it's entirety:
"There is a difference between sending out ballots 45 days before the election, and the ballots having 45 days of transit time (because the ballots can get back by the Friday after the election).
"All but six ballots were sent out with 45 days of transit time.
"Of the six, five were emailed to the voters, so they received them immediately. The sixth voter is in basic training in Georgia, and his ballot was sent to him by mail on October 1. He did not have an email address. He also received information about how to use the new MyVote.WI.gov site to receive an absentee ballot immediately online.
"Our office has been diligent in following up with the clerks who failed to meet the deadlines.
"We have identified 6,120 military and overseas voters in our system (3,740 military, 2,380 overseas). As of Sept. 20, we had 4,288 military and overseas voters from 731 municipalities who made requests for absentee ballots.
"Overall, we have absentee ballot requests from 71,347 voters in 617 municipalities who use SVRS to track absentee ballots. There are a total of 1,851 municipalities."
These developments are in addition to news, first reported by of the MacIver News Service last week, that the Federal Voter Assistance Program was providing Wisconsin service members the incorrect deadline by which their ballots must be received in order to be counted during the general election in November
The Department of Defense is scrambling to undo any damage caused when the Federal Voting Assistance Program provided the wrong absentee ballot deadline to Wisconsin service members. Also in Washington, DC, House Administration Chairman Dan Lungren, (R-Calif.) took action to ensure that the voting rights of military and overseas voters are protected, including sending a staff attorney to meet with state election officials here.
which in turn was a followup to a story posted a week ago:
Finally! Something from Mitt Helium.
It’s a pisser that Romney has to sue his own government to ensure those that defend their country have their constitutional rights respected.
Shades of Al Gore’s campaign in the 2000 recount.
Romney-Ryan must sue and get the military votes counted everywhere.
Somebody has to do this for them. They are too busy overseas to fumble around with this.
Talk about “those who work for a living”.
I am sick of Liberals.
“MAY”?!!!WTF!!!whaddya mean “MAY”?!!!
Good grief, get some b*lls, RINOmney and do something for a change, Mr Milquetoast.
And any military person actually voting for the dork/felon/cretin Obama should be court marshalled and sent to live in Kenya.
Yes. This is part of a widespread pattern.
Outrageous——military puts their lives on the line for this nation and their ballots get low priority on purpose? Downright criminals on the left.
We should send Seal team 6 to the
The pentagon to recover and disperse
The absentee ballots Obama ordered
Them to hide.
Advisor: "We have to find a way to keep the military from voting, Mr. pResident."
pResident: "Why is that?"
Advisor: "Because sir, quite frankly, they hate you."
Advisor: "Yessir, really."
Violations were also discovered in Mississippi ping
Wisconsin military absentee ballot update
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
This is totally disgusting. I don’t have a Thesaurus that would have enough words to describe how bad this is.
Unpatriotic, despicable, vile, hateful, unappreciative...are just a few words that come to mind.
We need change...and hope.
Democrats work real hard to ensure the military has no vote.