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 as large as many have expected.”
Ament said Milwaukee County’s population decline reflected a trend of “less people per household,” particularly in long-developed areas.
And it dropped further, according to Census Bureau estimates, since the last election cycle. In 2000, the Census found 692,339 adults living in Milwaukee County. In 2003, the Census Bureau estimates 663,517 adults, a drop of almost 30,000 potential voters, and a much steeper decline than in the previous decade.
Now, with that information, one would expect a decline in voter registrations and turnout, at least in real numbers. However, the election turnout has shown a remarkable and unnerving result that belies the residency figures. Ballots cast have increased, and not by a statistically insignificant margin. Here are the numbers for the last three presidential election cycles:
The increase in votes for the 2000 election was 18.7% over 1996 in a county that had had a net decrease in population of 2% over the past decade. In 2004, despite a population decrease of 3.2% in the past three years, the voter response increased in Milwaukee County by 11.2% over the already-ballooned turnout of 2000. While Milwaukee County lost 5% of its overall population over the past thirteen years and accelerating in the past three, votes cast increased an unbelievable 32% in the past eight years.
I’d like to see the statistical analysis which supports that kind of voter turnout improvements, especially with only a 6% increase overall in national turnout between 1996 and 2004. The results point to some other force at play than a monumental increase in civic response among Milwaukee County adults.
UPDATE: This certainly could be one explanation, an e-mail from a Wisconsin poll worker to Dirty Harry at Stranded On Blue Islands:
We have a large low income apartment complex located in the district covered at the polling place I worked. We had more same day registrants for that address than could live there.
We were unable to contest any of those registrations because of a little trick called “Voter verification” It goes something like this: A voter has an out of state driver’s license and wants to register.They are required to present a utility bill or some other form of information that would verify they live where they say. If they don’t have that, a “legitimate elector” can verify their residence.
What is a “legitimate elector” you may ask? Well let me give you an example. Groups from Move-on.org, Vote Now, ACT, and local GOTV would drop off a group of “voters”. One of the drivers would act as the “Legitimate Elector” and say this person was located where he claimed. Presto – that person is a voter.
Do that enough times and the 32% increase in votes from 1996 to 2004 becomes a lot more understandable.