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Wisconsin Green Party opposes Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen’s voter disenfranshisement

The Wisconsin Green Party strongly opposes Attorney General J. B. Van  Hollen’s efforts to disenfranchise voters this coming November. Van Hollen, a Republican, and the chair of the statewide McCain  presidential campaign is suing for an emergency “no match, no vote”  provision in state regulations in time for the November election.

Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have rejected making  matching a precondition to registration and voting.  Only four states:  Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, and South Dakota, prevent unmatched voters  from casting a ballot, and Florida’s law has been in litigation for over a year.

Washington agreed to abandon a similar law after it was struck down in  federal court.

If the “no match, no vote” provision were adopted, those voters whose names or addresses in the statewide voter registration database required by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) do not exactly match with
those in the Department of Transportation database would become  unregistered, and would need to reregister at the polls, or cast  provisional ballots.  To reregister, voters would need to have proof
of identity and residence on Election Day – something Wisconsin voters  are not used to doing.  If non-matched voters don’t have such validation with them on Election Day, they can cast a provisional
ballot, and then return to the poll that day, or to their clerk’s office by 4 PM the next day in order to have their vote counted.

More than 1 out of 5 new registrations that have been cross-checked by Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (GAB) since August 6th are showing problems – in fact, four of the 6 GAB members, who are judges,  did not pass the database check.

If Van Hollen succeeds, thousands of voters will be at risk of  becoming unregistered because of bureaucratic typos such as missed  spellings, hyphens, and differences in spacing.

In California, which had a similar rule but has since dropped it, the  LA Times reported that 43 percent of people who registered to vote in  Los Angeles County during the first quarter of 2006 were deemed
ineligible by the state’s new database system.

Wisconsin is matching data bases as the HAVA requires.  But HAVA does  not require that people with non-matching data be disqualified from casting a regular ballot on election day.

“This provision would affect those that divorce during the year,  college students, and domestic abuse victims, to name just a few,”  said Robin Lutz, co- treasurer of the Wisconsin Green Party.  “Last
year my name changed and I got a new drivers license.  Several months  later, I moved a few houses down the street. I got a new drivers’  license when my name changed, but not when I moved.  How many people
are like me?  This is a terrible shift for Wisconsin that will disastrously disenfranchise thousands of voters.”

“The Republican candidate for president, George W. Bush, won neither  the 2000 nor the 2004 election, in spite of the efforts in 2000 of  this year’s Green presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney and in spite
of the protests and suit of Green 2004 presidential candidate David Cobb,”  said Ron Hardy, co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party. In the 2000 presidential election, thousands of mainly black voters in  Florida were disenfranchised because of wholesale errors by a private data services company. Database Technologies (DBT), with ties to the  Republican Party, was hired by the Florida state government with clear directions that Florida “wanted there to be more names than were actually verified as being a convicted felon”.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4137694,00.html Under  a 19th-century Florida law, convicted felons are barred from voting for life. In the 2004 election in Ohio, trucking receipts show voting machines were pulled back from minority districts; ballots contain evidence of  tampering; mathematical analysis demonstrates the statistical impossibility of voting totals; hundreds of voters, campaign workers,
and poll workers gave testimonials about conditions that effectively disenfranchised thousands of voters.

“We don’t want Wisconsin to be another Florida or Ohio in the 2008  election,”  said Hardy.

Voting rights are one of the key issues for Cynthia McKinney, the Green presidential candidate.  “I sponsored the Voter Choice Act in Congress, which would have provided for the use of ranked choice  voting in Congressional elections,” said McKinney.  “I fought to  defend and reauthorize the Voting Rights Act. I have long been a  supporter of publicly financed elections. I have advocated same-day  voter registration. I voted in opposition to requiring photo ID for  voting in federal elections.”

“Republican efforts to establish a voter ID requirement, purportedly  enacted to address voter fraud, are an attempt to disenfranchise  voters as well,” said Pete Karas, former Racine Green Alder.  “But  voter fraud has been shown to be virtually non-existent in our state.   Governor Doyle vetoed such an effort in Wisconsin.”

“Republicans are again trying to take the election unfairly by  disenfranchising voters in swing states like Wisconsin,” said Karas.   “They have succeeded in stealing the last two presidential elections –  and they are trying it again.”

Wisconsin Greens support:

  • Full citizen participation in elections
  • Reinstatement of voting rights for felons after their time is served.

For more information, please visit http://www.runcynthiarun.org/ and ttp://www.wisconsingreenparty.org/

For information on the stolen 2000 election see — “Inquiry into new  claims of poll abuses in Florida” by Julian Borger in Washington and  Gregory Palast, in The Guardian, Saturday February 17, 2001 http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4137694,00.html

For information about the stolen 2004 election visit http://www.iwantmyvote.com/

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