Silence Of The Cheese Archives

January 18, 2005

The Silence Of The Cheese

Can you still hear the cheese screaming, Clar-iiiiiice? Michelle Malkin points out a story that I had missed in neighboring Wisconsin, one that calls into question the veracity of its presidential-election results. Wisconsin wound up going for John Kerry by 11,300 votes in what came as a mild surprise to most observers in the Upper Midwest (via Stranded On Blue Islands). Al Gore had carried the state by a shade over 5,000 votes in 2000, and most pollsters had the race a dead heat or George Bush pulling slightly ahead in 2004. Instead, Kerry took Wisconsin by doubling Gore's margin. How did that happen? Well, in one county -- Milwaukee, a traditional Democratic stronghold -- turnout increased by just under 49,000 votes, or about 10%, outstripping the nationwide increase of 6.4%. The new votes broke about 60/40 Kerry, about the trend of the county in both elections, adding a 9,000-vote...

Still Whining After All His Tears

John Kerry stood up on Martin Luther King Day and blasted the United States for the "disenfranchisement" of thousands of voters, a reference to the Ohio election which he lost by 118,000 votes. Kerry implied heavily that the GOP engineered voter fraud in his loss to George Bush: The Massachusetts Democrat, Bush's challenger in November, spoke at Boston's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast. He reiterated that he decided not to challenge the election results, but said "thousands of people were suppressed in the effort to vote." "Voting machines were distributed in uneven ways. In Democratic districts, it took people four, five, 11 hours to vote, while Republicans [went] through in 10 minutes -- same voting machines, same process, our America," he said. The complaints center on Cuyahoga County, of course, where Cleveland voters complained of standing in line for hours due to the lack of voting machines, a...

More Milwaukee County Demographics

Part of the continuing look at voter fraud in Wisconsin and the lack of media attention, which I called The Silence Of The Cheese ... For a bit more analysis on Milwaukee County's presidential election results, let's take a look at the population dynamics over the past 13 years. As these articles make clear, Milwaukee County has seen a continuing flight of residents; the county decreased by 19,000 people between the 1990 and 2000 census, and the US Census Bureau estimates that the drop has steepened since. They now estimate that 32,000 fewer people live in Milwaukee County, including 29,000 voting-age adults. From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel of March 8, 2001: Meanwhile, Milwaukee County Executive F. Thomas Ament was relieved to hear that his county didn't lose more people. Milwaukee County dropped 2%, from 959,275 to 940,164. "Obviously, I'm not pleased with losing population," he said, but this drop is "not...

A Mighty Big Coincidence

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel continues to cover the questions swirling around the Wisconsin presidential election results, even if the national media yawns at the prospect. Greg Borokowski reports that the 84,000 election-day registrants in the city of Milwaukee just about matches the same number as 2000 (hat tip: CQ reader JB): Lisa Artison, executive director of the city Election Commission, said the number of cards that could not be sent out this time was comparable to the number after the 2000 presidential election. ... At issue is a gap between the city's estimate of 84,000 election-day registrants and 73,079 verification cards that were sent, as required by law. ... If the 84,000 estimate of election-day registrants is accurate, 13% of the cards could not be processed. The 84,000 number, about 30% of the 277,535 people who voted in the November election, includes regular voters who may have moved, as well as...

January 20, 2005

Wisconsin Doesn't Follow Its Own Electoral Law

Greg Borokowski continues his dogged pursuit of the Wisconsin voting irregularities in 2004 for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, even though no one in the national media appears to notice, outside of the Washington Times. In today's paper, Borokowski reveals that despite having one of the most liberal and fraud-susceptible voter-registration systems in the country, the elections boards rarely refer invalid registrations to the district attorney's office: In the wake of Milwaukee's inability to send confirmation cards to some 10,000 newly registered voters, a Journal Sentinel review suggests that a little-discussed - but key - safeguard in election law is not routinely followed. The provision requires that any confirmation cards that the U.S. Postal Service cannot deliver be sent to the local district attorney's office for investigation for possible fraud. District attorneys from around the state said Wednesday, however, that they receive few such referrals - and some did not know it...

January 21, 2005

Racine Election Officials Broke The Law: State Rep

While most of the focus of election fraud in Wisconsin has been on Milwaukee and its 30% same-day registration in two succeeding presidential elections, the smaller city of Racine also had its own problems. State representative Robin Vos accused Racine officials of ignoring electoral law by failing to even attempt the verification of same-day registrants as required by Wisconsin law: State Rep. Robin Vos accused the city of Racine on Wednesday of violating state law by failing to send out voter verification cards to people who registered to vote on the same day as the Nov. 2 election. "Racine County residents deserve fair and proper elections," Vos, R-Caledonia, said. "I'm disappointed to see that the city of Racine isn't doing everything possible to ensure this happens, especially when Wisconsin law requires it." Racine City Clerk Carolyn Moskonas, who was recently appointed to the position, confirmed Wednesday that the city doesn't...

Get Ready For The Cheesewash

Milwaukee city officials, under pressure for their handling of the flood of same-day voter registrations in the last two presidential elections, have now formed a panel to investigate the issue. However, Greg Borokowski reports that the independence of the city panel leaves a lot to be desired: Amid new questions about the Nov. 2 election in Milwaukee, a task force appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett to review problems and procedures will launch its efforts today. Members will dig into an election that featured heavy turnout, huge demand for early voting, a GOP challenge to thousands of addresses and, based on a Journal Sentinel review of election-day "incident logs," a general frenzy of activity across the city. But the committee - consisting entirely of city officials - faces critics who question whether it will be able to conduct an impartial review. As well they should; until the last moment, the panel...

January 22, 2005

The Cheesewash Continues

One day after Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced the formation of an investigative panel to look into the potential fraud surrounding same-day registrations in the last presidential election, one of the commissioners he named demonstrated her open mind by ridiculing critics of her management of the vote: A week after questions arose over 10,000 voters who registered on election day but whose identity couldn't be confirmed with verification cards, Milwaukee's top election official declared Friday that the number is inaccurate because it is based on an estimate. Nonetheless, she could not provide an accurate count of how many people registered Nov. 2. "We didn't have 5,000 people who voted twice," Lisa Artison, executive director of the city Election Commission, told an elections task force. "We did not have 10,000 people who voted who shouldn't have voted." ... At the task force meeting, which Stone attended, Artison stressed that the 84,000...

January 23, 2005

Milwaukee Democrats To Face Felony Charges In Election-Day Conspiracy

Two sons of prominent Democratic polticians and three paid party activists will face felony charges as a result of a widely-publicized attempt to keep Republicans from voting on Election Day in Milwaukee. The charges will be filed on Monday, highlighting the other unrelated issues of voter fraud in Wisconsin's largest city and Democratic stronghold: The investigation into the Great Tire-Slashing Caper will end Monday with felony charges against the adult sons of two prominent Milwaukee politicians - U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore and former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt. Sources close to the 83-day-old probe said Sowande Omokunde, Michael Pratt and three other paid Democratic activists will each be charged with a single felony count of criminal damage to property, legalese for vandalism. Omokunde, also known as Supreme Solar Allah, is the 25-year-old son of the rookie congresswoman. Pratt, 32, worked on Kerry's local campaign, which was chaired by his father. Pratt,...

January 25, 2005

Invalid Addresses Add To Milwaukee's Voter Irregularities

Greg Borowski at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has conducted a review of votes cast in the last presidential election and found that over 1,200 of them came from voters at non-existent addresses. These votes add to the total of the same-day registrants whom the city cannot verify, raising even more questions about the competency of city election officials: A review of Milwaukee voting records from the Nov. 2 presidential election has found more than 1,200 ballots cast from invalid addresses in the city, including many cases in which the voter could not be located at all. ... The newspapers review, the most extensive analysis done so far of the election, revealed 1,242 votes coming from a total of 1,135 invalid addresses. That is, in some cases more than one person is listed as voting from the address. Of the 1,242 voters with invalid addresses, 75% registered on site on election day,...

January 26, 2005

Milwaukee Election Office Reneged On False-Address Agreement

Milwaukee's Elections Commission reneged on a settlement with the Wisconsin GOP to block voting from scores of non-existent city addresses, Greg Borowski reports in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Lisa Artison finds herself in the middle of another controversy about the mishandling of the presidential election with the revelation: The votes came from addresses that were among 5,619 the state Republican Party challenged less than a week before the election as non-existent. The city Election Commission rejected the claim, saying the party hadn't met the high legal standard for removing names from poll lists. That led GOP officials to question Tuesday whether the city complied with its later agreement to have poll workers seek identification from anyone who attempted to vote from those addresses. "I don't think there should have been anyone voting from the 5,600 addresses," state GOP chairman Rick Graber said. "We had an understanding. We had an agreement. For...

The Cheese Is Not Silent Now

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a flash announcement on their website that local, state, and federal resources will combine to investigate voter fraud in Milwaukee in November 2004: Local and federal law enforcement authorities are finalizing a task force that is to look into potential fraud in Milwaukee in the Nov. 2 election, sources confirmed today. The details are being worked out between Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann, U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic, Milwaukee Police Chief Nannette Hegerty and the local office of the FBI. The task force comes in the wake of Journal Sentinel revelations that more than 1,200 votes came from invalid addresses and that there were other problems with how the election was run in the city. Greg Borowski promises more in tomorrow's edition. I suspect that Lisa Artison may have a sleepless night tonight. (via Power Line) UPDATE: The story has been updated at the link...

January 28, 2005

Milwaukee Can't Account For Gap

Lisa Artison keeps digging the hole deeper in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee election commission announced yesterday that they have determined that 1,305 same-day voter registrations from the November 2 election could not be verified, instead of the 10,000 estimate Artison reported earlier. However, as the Journal-Sentinel's Greg Borowski reports, that leaves over 7,000 more votes than registered voters in Milwaukee: Milwaukee officials said Thursday that 1,305 same-day voter registration cards from the Nov. 2 election could not be processed, including more than 500 cases where voters listed no address and dozens more where no name was written on the card. But the revelation of the actual number of cards that couldn't be processed, far lower than previous estimates of 8,300 or more, raised new concerns, because it leaves a clear gap of more than 7,000 people who voted on Nov. 2 and cannot be accounted for in city records. An audit...

January 29, 2005

Milwaukee Election Fraud May Still Not Convince Dem Governor On Reform

Wisconsin voters who have reacted with alarm and outrage over the incompetence and probable fraud in the Milwaukee election. State legislators also want to ensure that this fiasco doesn't repeat itself, and plan on introducing a new requirement for a state-issued photo ID to cast a ballot. Unfortunately for the real voters, the Democratic governor apparently wants to keep the system just the way it is: The mounting evidence this week of irregularities in Milwaukee has caused concern around Wisconsin that will result in new pressure for reform, said Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale), one of the authors of the photo ID bill, which is to be introduced Monday. State residents may worry about their votes being, in effect, negated because of questions surrounding thousands of votes in Milwaukee, he said. Lawmakers tried tightening the security on elections in 2003, but Governor Jim Doyle vetoed the bill. The Assembly did not...

February 2, 2005

Milwaukee Had 17 Precincts With 100+ More Votes Than Voters

Greg Borowski reports in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that an analysis of voting records done by the newspaper reveals that seventeen precincts in the city showed at least 100 more votes than the number of registered voters, even counting the already-problematic same-day registrants. Four precincts, or wards, had more than 500 extra votes: Record-keeping surrounding the Nov. 2 presidential election in Milwaukee is so flawed that in 17 wards there were at least 100 more votes recorded than people listed by the city as voting there. In two wards, one on the south side and one on the north side, the gap is more than 500, with fewer than half the votes cast in each ward accounted for in the city's computer system, a Journal Sentinel review has found. Such gaps were present at different levels in nearly all of the city wards and could hamper the investigation launched last week...

February 4, 2005

Requiring Voter ID Disenfranchises Voters: Wisconsin Dems

The debate on fixing Wisconsin's broken electoral system moved to the state legislature yesterday, where hearings opened on a bill that would require a state or military photo ID to verify identification of voters at polling stations. As expected, the Democrats lined up as many people as possible to whine about the extraordinary burden of carrying identification: Earlier this week, leaders in the Republican-controlled Legislature revived a bill similar to one vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle in 2003 that would have required voters to show a valid photo ID to register and vote. It would alter Wisconsin's historically open elections process, which allows residents to vote by providing their names and addresses to poll workers, and register on election day by presenting proof of residence. ... Most people would show a driver's license to vote, but a state-issued identification card or military ID would also be accepted. The state...

February 5, 2005

Anti-Reform Wisconsin Governor Took Large Payments After Health-Care Merger

Democratic Governor Jim Doyle has repeatedly blocked electoral reform in Wisconsin and threatens to do so again if the state legislature passes a requirement for photo IDs at polling stations. Doyle vetoed the measure once before in 2003 and promises the same this year, even after the fiasco in Milwaukee last November in which an inordinate amount of people registered to vote on Election Day (over 30% of all voters). Now, however, Wisconsin voters may have another kind of reform in mind after the Journal-Sentinel revealed that executives involved in a controversial health-care merger gave Doyle over $28,000 in donations shortly after he allowed the merger to go through. Critics at the time wondered why Doyle didn't ask for common-sense economic concessions -- and now they think they know: Gov. Jim Doyle received $28,500 in campaign donations late last year, near the time a major insurance company merger was finalized,...

March 2, 2005

Milwaukee Election Official Resigns

CQ reader Joe K brings me up to date on a story line that has gone quiet the past couple of weeks. The embattled head of elections for Milwaukee responsible for the fiasco of last year's presidential balloting has abruptly resigned after spending the last month on sick leave: Under a blitz of criticism over the city's handling of the Nov. 2 presidential election, Lisa Artison resigned Tuesday as executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission after four weeks off the job on sick time. Artison faxed a one-sentence note of resignation to the mayor's office Tuesday. She could not be reached for comment. In recent days, speculation grew that Artison would leave the post she held since July, when she faced sharp questions about her qualifications from aldermen at her confirmation hearing. Her mysterious resignation probably has to do with the independent investigation launched by a combination of the...

April 13, 2005

Doyle Promises Veto On ID Requirement

After the ongoing debacle in Milwaukee's past election in November, when for the second straight presidential cycle more than 30% of the voters registered at the polls and instigated a federal investigation into fraud, one would assume that adding a requirement for photo identification would be seen as a reasonable response. The only one who appears to reject that notion in Wisconsin is the Democratic governor, Jim Doyle, who threatened to veto the bill passed by the legislature today: Wisconsin lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would require voters to provide a driver's license or other government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot. Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle said he would veto the measure. ... Wisconsin Republicans who pushed the measure through both houses of the Legislature say the photo ID requirement would lessen voter fraud and protect legitimate voters. Democrats said the bill threatened the constitutional right to vote for...

May 10, 2005

WaPo Smells The Cheese ... Finally

The Washington Post has finally sniffed out the Silence of the Cheese, the voter-fraud scandal in Milwaukee that helped turn Wisconsin blue in the 2004 Presidential election. Michelle Malkin points readers to a new development that the Post reported late this afternoon: About 4,500 more ballots than registered voters were cast in the election last November in Milwaukee, investigators said Tuesday. Also, more than 200 felons voted improperly in Milwaukee, and more than 100 instances of suspected double-voting were found. No charges have been filed. Investigators found no widespread conspiracy, just isolated incidents, U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said. "I don't think there's an election in this municipality or this state that would have been decided differently even with those numbers," said Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat. Barrett wants this entire embarassment to go away, and the spin is designed for the national media to go back into silence mode. Having...

October 21, 2005

Wisconsin Voter Fraud Gets Congressional Attention

The widespread allegations of voter fraud in Wisconsin from last year's presidential election, the level of which may have fraudulently pushed the state into John Kerry's Electoral College column, will finally receive some attention from Congress. Greg Borowski reported on Wednesday that the House Administration Committee would come to Milwaukee to hear from witnesses. However, one member of the delegation has some eyebrows raised (h/t: CQ reader A Guy In Wisconsin): The meeting of the House Administration Committee, which oversees election issues, will put the state's election system under a potentially powerful microscope. But the visit was criticized Tuesday amid questions about whether any Democratic members would attend. There also were questions about the witness list, heavy with Republicans and - for now - without Milwaukee representation. The committee chairman, Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), said Tuesday that he was told Rep. Gwen Moore, a Milwaukee Democrat, would be sitting in....

January 20, 2006

Dems Admit Election-Day Sabotage

Four of five Democratic activists charged with election-day sabotage took an eleventh-hour plea deal that convicted them of misdemeanors for slashing tires on GOP-rented vans on Election Day 2004. Despite doing over $5,000 worth of damage and perhaps keeping hundreds of voters from getting to the polls, the quartet will not have to serve any prison time in exchange for their guilty pleas (via The American Mind, who has a good roundup of reaction): In an unexpected twist in the Election Day tire-slashing trial, four former Kerry-Edwards campaign staffers, including the sons of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) and former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt, have agreed to plead no contest to misdemeanors. The plea agreements came in the middle of jury deliberations after an eight-day trial on felony property damage charges that carried potential 3 1/2 year prison terms upon conviction. The fifth defendant in the case was acquitted by...

July 23, 2007

More Shenanigans In Milwaukee?

After the 2004 election, widespread claims of voter fraud arose from the close election results in our neighboring state of Wisconsin. At the time, the claims focused on the lax voter registration laws in Wisconsin that apparently allowed for massive overvoting in the critical precincts of Milwaukee. Over 4500 ballots got cast over the number of ballots that Milwaukee recorded as voting in that election, calling into question the reliability of the razor-thin margin of victory by John Kerry of 11,000 votes overall. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel did an excellent job of reporting the shenanigans in 2005, leading to an investigation that ended up going nowhere. The county, state, and federal governments could reach no real conclusion as to the existence of fraud, despite the obvious imbalance in votes versus the records. Now a blogger on the Left has discovered what three levels of government investigators could not (via Memeorandum): The...