RACINE — Calling the local recall election “an utter mockery,” several prominent Assembly Republicans Wednesday called on the Government Accountability Board to resolve election issues before November.
A letter signed by State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair Robin Vos, among others, points to several reported problems in the recall for the 21st state Senate District. The issues include tampered-with ballot bags, unsigned poll books and a disregard for same-day registration requirements, they wrote.
“It is an utter mockery of our system and clerks are simply not complying with the law,” the letter states.
Vos, R-Rochester, said the issues are likely not limited to Racine and they want the GAB to respond with a plan so whoever wins or loses the November election will have confidence in the results.
“I think that the results in Racine, regardless of the outcome, show that there were problems with the system,” Vos said.
Former state Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, defeated state Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, in the June 5 election. The Racine County Sheriff’s Office has investigated several election-related complaints and turned their reports over to the district attorney.
The letter requests the GAB ensure county clerks and poll workers understand the proof-of-residency law, that poll books are properly signed and that municipalities verify new voters’ addresses within 10 days of the election.
A staff attorney with the GAB has previously said the city must enter new same-day voters into the state’s voter registration system 30 days following the election, but sometimes there are extenuating circumstances to meeting the deadline.
“If the GAB doesn’t address these problems and correct them, it would only welcome more potential voter irregularities in future elections,” the letter states. “Our state can’t have our election process undermined by questions of potential fraud.”