Plagued by Pattern of Misconduct and Abuse
Tarnished Out-of-State Firm Hired by GOP Uses
Systemic Election Fraud to Fill Papers with Invalid Signatures
Hundreds of Claims from Wisconsin Citizens Prove
GOP Recall Efforts Illegitimate, Must Be Rejected
MADISON – A formal challenge to be filed later today against Republican recall petitions asks the Government Accountability Board to disqualify thousands of invalid signatures, and reject recall elections against three Democratic state senators, because widespread and systemic election fraud has tainted the entire GOP operation.
"The overwhelming evidence clearly shows a pervasive pattern of election fraud committed by the shady out-of-state organization hired by Republicans to collect recall petitions," said Senate Democratic Leader Mark Miller. "Thousands of Wisconsin citizens fell victim to lies and misinformation spread by the circulators, and the papers submitted by this operation contain a river of omissions and wrong information."
Miller continued: "We believe that when the facts are reviewed, the GAB will throw out thousands of flawed signatures because they were fraudulent or defective. The vast depth of this misconduct calls into question the legitimacy of every signature collected by these circulators, and shows that the GOP effort failed to gather the valid signatures needed for recall elections."
The formal challenge, to be filed on behalf of the Democratic senators this afternoon, shows that the number of invalid signatures gathered through systemic election fraud would reduce the total collected against each of the three Democratic state senators well below the threshold required to trigger a recall election. Miller and Democratic Party of Wisconsin counsel Jeremy Levinson will hold a media availability today at 4:15 PM to discuss the challenge.
The challenge of GOP recall petitions features scores of claims from Wisconsin citizens who were victimized by the wholesale election fraud of the disreputable out-of-state firm hired by Wisconsin Republicans to collect signatures. Kennedy Enterprises received nearly $100,000 from the Republican Party of Wisconsin to circulate recall petitions. Kennedy owns a tarnished reputation based on past offenses in Colorado.
The Democratic challenge shows that Kennedy Enterprises has continued these fraudulent practices while working for Wisconsin Republicans.
Some of the cases and examples of election fraud outlined in the formal recall challenge of GOP petitions to be filed this afternoon include:
- Senate District 12: Of the 534 people contacted who had signed the petition, 9.2% indicated they were misled into signing the petition or asserted they had never signed.
- Senate District 22: Of the 225 people contacted who had signed the petition, 6.6% indicated they were misled into signing the petition or asserted they had never signed.
- Senate District 30: Of the 372 people contacted who had signed the petition, 8.6% indicated they were misled into signing the petition or asserted they had never signed.
- Affidavit of a World War II veteran from Green Bay who was misled into signing a recall petition. Upon learning he had been duped, veteran called the sheriff to get his name removed. When confronted, the circulator claims he will remove the name, but a later review of the petitions reveals the veteran's name was never crossed off.
- Many affidavits attesting that Circulator Sherri Ferrell - who gathered nearly 3,000 signatures in two districts -- gathered signatures on Indian reservations claiming petitions were to support "schools," "Democrats," and "tribal rights."
- Affidavit of voter in Senate District 22 attesting that circulator John Prijic claimed the petitions were for work to be done on a local park.
- Affidavit of voter in Senate District 30 attesting that circulator Annette Lord claimed the petitions were to recall Republican Senator Cowles.
- Affidavit of voter in Senate District 30 attesting that circulator Richard Madrill claimed the petitions were to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
- William Pocan’s forged name appears on line 10, page 362 of circulator Kevin Pursell’s petition. As his widow Corinne Pocan’s affidavit attests, William Pocan has been deceased 20 years, although his name remains in the phone book. Pursell circulated numerous pages.
- Claims by many Wisconsin citizens who were misled by out-of-state circulators who claimed they could sign on behalf of other people.
- Numerous examples of fake addresses and signatures appearing on GOP recall petitions, as well as sloppily gathered signatures also missing critical information.
- Summary of out-of-state circulators hired by GOP with largest percentages of fraud or deception on GOP recall petitions:
|Circulator||Circulator Home State||Calls completed to signers||Signers defrauded||fraud or deception percent|
|Sherri E. Ferrell||FL||384||136||35.42|
|Larry W Schumacher||Ok||226||50||22.12|
|Richard A Madrill III||CO||154||42||27.27|
|Robert V Armstrong||OK||222||31||13.96|
"Dozens of affidavits and thousands of pages of evidence clearly show that the entire Republican recall petition process has been tainted by rampant election fraud on an unprecedented level in Wisconsin history," said Miller. "Unable to gather signatures through traditional grassroots organizing and genuine support, the Republican Party of Wisconsin turned to a shady organization to collect signatures. The outcome was a tarnished process, and if every invalid and suspicious signature is thrown out, as they should be, it’s clear that the people of Wisconsin have not called for these recall elections."