Good Coverage of Republican Efforts to Supress Votes in 2004

Brew City Brawler covers it here in relation to the Biscupic case.

I had the Dem voter protection lawyer for our area working out of my place that day. I heard him talking about the "HAVA Volunteers" in Milwaukee and Racine.

--Paying individuals $160 to wear orange "HAVA Volunteer" T- shirts and patrol polling places. In large part these individuals (who were not volunteers) knew nothing about the Help America Vote Act, and several wrongly suggested that HAVA required an alreadyregistered voter to produce identification in order to
--Impersonating authorities at the polling places. The Reports reflect instances of orange-shirted observers stating that they were authorities, and instances of persons claiming to be "election officials" and giving out incorrect information about the registration process.
-- Walking up and down voting lines with printed lists in hand and suggesting that persons "not on the list" were not allowed to vote.
--Using attorneys to lodge challenges to voters pursuant to S 6.925, Wis. Stats. In many cases Republican attorneys would lodge a challenge, disrupt the voting process, and then abandon the challenge, after forcing a voter to answer questions under oath, by refusing to execute sworn statements supporting the claimed challenges.
-- Challenging the authority of election inspectors during every step of the election day process, including: (a) challenging the use of special deputy registrars for same day registration (despite an October 27, 2004 City of Milwaukee Elections Commission resolution authorizing the process); (b) challenging inspectors' attempts to continue to process votes during machine breakdowns; (e) asking an inspector to sign a form stating that a machine was not inspected; and (d) challenging the use of volunteers to help process same day registration cards.
-- Using law enforcement agents to harass Election Protection volunteers attempting to assist voters standing in line. For example, at about 5:30 p.m. at Holton School, four men, one with visible handcuffs, walked through the polling place and told Election Protection volunteers not to assist voters attempting to locate the correct polling place. Threatening to "call the authorities" if election inspectors did not act as instructed by Republican attorneys.
--Challenging any absentee ballot that did not have a Wisconsin- return address in the certificate, despite the fact that an out- of--state return address is legal and
appropriate for out-of- state absentee voters.
-- Challenging valid student registration with photo IDs matched to student directories, and thereafter challenging any student who corroborated another student's residence.


Pocan/Risser Introduce Clean Elections Bill

It's all here:

Here are the first few paragraphs that cover most of it:

Madison – State Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) and State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) introduced the most comprehensive campaign finance reform measure to date at a press conference this afternoon. The Clean Elections Fund would provide full public funding of state elections, patterned after laws in Maine and Arizona. Twenty-one organizations have already endorsed the legislation (attached).

“This is the most sweeping campaign finance reform Wisconsin has ever seen and I am grateful that so many grassroots groups have stepped forward to help clean up our government,” said Pocan. “Campaigns should be about the candidates and the voters, not the special interest groups buying elections with their expensive negative attack ads.”

The record amounts of money spent by independent groups in last Tuesday’s Supreme Court election came under fire from clean government groups and editorial boards across the state. The bill creates a Clean Elections Fund that provides 100 percent public financing for state political campaigns for the State Assembly, Senate, and other state elections including the governor’s office and the State Supreme Court. To run “clean,” a candidate must get a certain number of small $5.00 donations from district residents to qualify for funding. Once approved, they receive a spending limit and funds for their campaign.

As a disincentive for excessive campaign spending, if someone who runs “clean” has an opponent who is not running “clean” and who spends more, the “clean” candidate receives dollar for dollar up to 2.5 times the original grant. The incentive to keep spending down also applies to “independent” expenditures and “issue” ads on behalf of candidates similar to those seen during the recent Supreme Court race.