Is Lt. Governor Kleefisch suggesting voter intimidation with new robocall?

It’s barely October and Wisconsin Republicans are already up to their old tricks, it seems. On Sunday, October 7, a Waukesha County resident received a robocall from Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R) encouraging her to attend “an important election day training” in Waukesha on Tuesday, implying that voter fraud could be a big issue in the upcoming election. The recipient found the language of the robocall disconcerting, as it was suggestive of what could be voter intimidation.

Here’s the transcript of the robocall in its entirety:

“Hi. This is Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch calling on behalf of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

We wanted to let you know that important election day observer training will be held Tuesday, October 9th at 7:30 pm at the Waukesha Victory Center. That’s located at 1701 Pearl Street in Waukesha.

As an election observer you’re the eyes and ears on the ground in protecting Wisconsin’s elections against voter fraud and guaranteeing everyone’s vote is given equal weight.

If you are interested in signing up to volunteer, please call us at 608-535-9864 and leave your name and number to sign up for the election day observer training.

Thank you. This call was paid for by the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Bob Geason, Treasurer; not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.”

But the reality is that everyone’s vote IS given equal weight in Wisconsin, and that voter fraud is really not much of an issue. According to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, “Board staff conducted a survey of the counties’ prosecuting attorney offices four months after the 2008 General and Presidential Election. The survey results revealed that a total of six criminal complaints had been filed alleging voter fraud.”

Six criminal complaints. S-i-x. And most of those were felons who thought they could finally vote, I’m told.

So Kleefisch’s robocall appears to be nothing more than a way for the GOP to fire up their Tea Party base. By suggesting “cheating,” they are artificially creating a problem when, in reality, there is no problem.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The Overpass Light Brigade reminds everyone to vote

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17 thoughts on “Is Lt. Governor Kleefisch suggesting voter intimidation with new robocall?

  1. This is downright alarming, Lisa…Rebecca Kleefisch may very well be sending out a robocall encouraging Republicans to be taught how to intimidate voters.

  2. Well Lisa Mux, I have read this several times and I fail to see where the intimidation lies, unless you are afraid of your own shadow.

    It’s fairly common practice for both parties and outside groups to engage in poll watching. The law states that these observers cannot engage voters or poll workers, but I believe may make challenges if poll workers are not following the law.

    You cite six criminal complaints as evidence that poll watchers are not necessary. There are many things poll workers may see or point out that won’t ultimately make it to the level of criminal complaint. They might challenge a poll worker’s acceptance of form of ID to register if it doesn’t fit the criteria. They might challenge if someone is campaigning on site or too close to the polls. There was one polling place where I was at where a poll watcher challenged a poll worker because the worker made available campaign materials (which she claimed were non-partisan, but clearly were not). Is that inappropriate and illegal? Absolutely! But is it going to warrant a criminal complaint? Not likely.

    I can assume if you feel this practice is unnecessary, you will call upon the Democrats and liberal groups to not engage in any poll observing this election day. Quite honestly, I want observers from both parties and outside groups present to make sure the election process is administered fairly and without bias.

    For as much as you say the right is paranoid about voter fraud, you seem overly paranoid about anyone ensuring there isn’t any fraud. If there truly is no fraud, then there’s nothing to hide by allowing observers.

    1. fmsn, where do those poll watchers end up? I’ve yet to hear about tea party poll watchers ending up in Brookfield, West Bend, or Waukesha, but I do hear a lot about scads of right-wing poll watchers at predominantly minority polling stations.

      Why is that, do you suppose?

      1. Last time I checked smokes for votes didn’t occur in West Bend and election van tire slashings didn’t occur in West Bend. Maybe that’s why.

        However, as far as I know poll watching occurs in places around the state, not just at minority poll stations. Sorry, you’re wrong on this one.

        1. We’re discussing vote fraud, not criminal damage to property. If you’d like to discuss vote fraud, we can talk about Robin Vos’ soon to be ex-wife committing vote fraud. Clearly we need some right-wing poll watchers to watch right-wingers as well!

          1. You might have missed it, but a week ago the DA said the complaint in that case was unfounded. I imagine the liberal hack that drove across the state to file the complaint is upset about the wasted gas money. If the complaint had any merit why didn’t someone within that county file it?

    2. fmsn-I don’t have a problem with election observers; it’s fear mongering that I don’t like.
      And if I were afraid of my own shadow, I wouldn’t be a progressive blogger in Waukesha County. 🙂

      1. I ask you to show me the fear mongering in that transcript.

        “guaranteeing everyone’s vote is given equal weight” should be everyone’s goal, regardless of political affiliation. If it’s not, we’re in trouble.

        I seem to remember Democrats alleging voter fraud when Republicans won elections in the past. Was that fear mongering too?

        1. That’s really the same thing I thought. I saw the title & Lisa’s intro thinking…”wonder what those idiots have stooped to now.”

          I read the “evidence” transcript – I simply don’t get it. Don’t see anything resembling voter intimidation.

  3. The main point that those who support photo ID make is that there are not sufficient safeguards to protect against vote fraud, and that given the lack of protections and checks there is virtually no way to catch someone who commits the fraud. Pointing out that there are very few criminal complaints does not refute this point. Those in favor of photo ID would use the same statistic as a point on their side, “there is rampant fraud, yet no one is caught”.

    I am not a huge proponent of voter ID, and I think fraud is much less of an issue than most republicans state. However, I think some additional safeguards were required to prevent even the possibility of fraud, and given the number of things in society that require an ID I do not believe it is that big of a burden.

  4. We’ve do have rampant fraud here in Wisconsin. Just ask the Republican party.

    Fraudent candidates, running as Democrats, against Democrats in state primaries. Not only fruauulent, but in doing so, imposing unecessary and extremely burdensome costs for those elections onto taxpayers.

    Fraudulent poll watchers, attempting to disrupt and intimidate voters in Racine county elections. The poll watcher?- County Clerk of Lake County IL, Willard Helander. Yes, you read that right. Lake County IL And Lou D’Abbraccio, Racine election “observer”, who caused disruptions and challenged multiple voter registrations. The police and the GAB reviewed his claims and found them to be unverifiable. (Imagine that)

    And this one’s ripe. Robin Vos’s wife, Samantha Vos cast WI votes as an Idaho resident.

    There is so much more. Kathy Nickolaus, AFP sending out mailers in heavily Democratic districts with the date of elections in error, then claiming it was a typo, and more.

    So, in short, I agree. There is a HUGE problem with fraud in elections, proliferated by the GOP affiliated groups and operatives.

    Then there’s the shadow campaigns of fear, falsehoods and flat out lies via emails. “Send this to all your friends!!!” You all know what kind I’m talking about. But that’s a WHOLE disgusting subject for another time.

  5. So, here’s what we can do. Call that number- 608-535-9864 . Ask to be a poll watcher. In fact, flood that number with calls. Keep that dang line so busy that they will be overwhelmed by the response. You see where I’m going with is, aren’t you?

  6. Voting is one our most sacred rights, yet to fulfill this civic duty it is too much to ask someone to show an ID? Do you really think so little of your fellow Democrats that you believe they can’t accomplish this simple task?

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