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Recall Petitions Found to Be Signed by Felons

She couldn’t help but notice three people listed on a document she was looking at were individuals she knew personally – and whom she knew for a fact are convicted felons.

With statewide recall petitions just posted Tuesday night, already new and confirmed reports of improprieties are coming in.

That’s right – validated instances of invalid signatures throughout the recall process. It didn't take long. I didn't figure it would.

Usually, I screen blocked calls. Not today. I had a gut feeling I should pick up. A Racine resident in Sen. Van Wanggaard's district, a volunteer petition verifier, was reviewing the searchable database of those who signed the senator's recall petition.

She couldn’t help but notice that three people listed on a document she was looking at were individuals she knew personally – and whom she knew for a fact are convicted felons.

She gave me the three names to confirm her statement for myself. And I did just that. Obviously, anyone who is forbidden to vote because of their criminal record should certainly be prohibited to sign a recall petition.

For now, I have asked my dedicated grassroots comrades to begin cross-checking Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) with every name on all petitions as they are made public.

And in just the past couple of hours, I've heard about a number of individual sheets containing the names of convicted felons, in one case as many as nine.

I'm asking petition verifiers to report these findings either to myself, my colleague Paris Procopis, or the Government Accountability Board. The Republican Party of Wisconsin will also be sent any names of such individuals of whom we become aware.

In residence but ineligible

But this poses a whole new dilemma. We in the anti-recall camp have talked a lot about out-of-state signers, made-up names like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, who need to be found out and weeded out.

But here are people who can give their true names and addresses as genuine Wisconsin and senate district residents – but who, because of their criminal pasts, must be ferreted out through checks of court records.

It gets incredibly complicated because by law:

State statute 304.078(3), reading: "If a person is disqualified from voting under s. 6.03 (1) (b), his or her right to vote is restored when he or she completes the term of imprisonment or probation for the crime that led to the disqualification."

The bold italics are mine. With multitudes of felons being released early under probation – or never imprisoned at all – the GAB is not willing, or says it is not able, to do the work of verifying that these people are in fact eligible to vote.

Fortunately, we have a small army of people who are willing to do that.

My initial thoughts were that in Racine alone, there must be an epic number of convicted felons. I wonder if, in the end, the recall forces will have enough valid signatures to even trigger a recall.

And I'm not just talking about Sen. Wanggaard. I'm pretty sure nearly everyone who signed a petition against the senator also signed one against Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Our host of volunteers hasn't begun cross-checking over all three sets of documents, but I'm in no doubt of what we'll find.

Stay tuned. We will provide confirmed reports of those we find ineligible for any reason – not least because they are criminals.

_________________________________

To contact me to help, or with information, please e-mail me at noellelorraine@hotmail.com or Paris Procopis at pprocopis@gmail.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Noelle Lorraine February 07, 2012 at 01:10 PM
@Nancy Hall, FACT check an EDITORIAL ?!? You want to talk laughable do you? My goodness, what an oxymoron, much like you are... Well, I'll stop there. Do you know what an editorial is? Someone's opinion. Let's use today to fact check opinions says the lefty. Laughable. And for the record, what I state in my opinion piece was indeed checked for accuracy. Not that it was necessary.
Scott Walker February 07, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Looks like lefty Nancy Hall wants to shut down any speech that she disagrees with....typical controlling old frumpy hag lefty!
Scott Walker February 07, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Too bad your kind has no candidate!!
Heather Rayne Geyer February 07, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Its actually more a commentary than an editorial, but I digress. I write many opinion pieces and I try to fact check as much as I can. I spend hours reading and calling people...interviewing and linking. I feel it is part of the responsibility. Otherwise any who-ha can type up a bunch of nonsense and fill minds with false information. Sometimes I am wrong and need to find out the hard way and admit my mistakes. But most of the time, I won't write it unless I am pretty damn certain it cannot be proven wrong. Whether that is related to this article or not...I just wanted to mention that fact checking an opinion piece is far from ridiculous and really should be part of the process.
misterz February 07, 2012 at 10:44 PM
So..are you implying that your employer/editor lets you write editorials/opinion pieces without fact checking? No journalistic ethics problem with that? Seriously? There is an old saying : "You are entitled to your own opinion but you aren't entitled to your own facts." I really would like a statement from your editor about whether or not fact checking an editorial/opinion piece is considered "laughable" by this publication.
Randy1949 February 07, 2012 at 10:52 PM
@Noelle Lorraine -- You know what they say about opinions. I happen to find your more aromatic than most. Opinions don't have to be based on facts, but they are much more credible if they are.
Nancy Hall February 08, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Has it occurred to you, Noelle, that there may be a lot of non-conservatives who are watching this orgy of mudslinging with dismay and choosing not to post? You shouldn't pat yourself on the back for this ugly mess.
Nancy Hall February 08, 2012 at 01:09 AM
The laughable claim that one petition included the signatures of nine felons suggests deliberate Republican tampering. There is no way, short of circulating petitions inside a prison, that anyone could find nine random individuals on probation/parole all in one spot and all signing the same petition. The fact that so many people are willing to accept this as true is just sad.
Craig February 08, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Nancy: I am a Walker supporter. I agree that many are not posting because of the tone of most of the posts- on both sides of the aisle. I also agree that it is statistically nearly impossible to find 9 felons on one form. Most forms average 5 signatures. Nine felons on the street all lined up at the same time? Not likely unless a prison van stopped at a roadside recall table. I do not understand how the State maintains the list of felons on paper or how often they update their system. I can't imagine why they would spend the money to do that under normal circumstances. I also agree it is unlikely to find enough fraud to disqualify the petition entirely. But I want to know the truth, is there 540,001 legit signatures or 999,999? Don't we all deserve to know that?
Craig February 10, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Tonight's news gives hope to the anti recall people. +25% of the sugnatures are challenged? Maybe the 1 million number isn't a slam dunk.... Is Misty Mourning?
Randy1949 February 10, 2012 at 02:27 AM
On the Senatorial recall petitions, Craig.
Craig February 10, 2012 at 02:33 AM
You are 100% correct Randy! I am just trying to rekindle an old FLAME with some gasoline and compressed air! Seiously I do not know what to believe anymore, much of the reporting could just be to sway public opinion and have no real basis.(both sides)
Cynthia February 10, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Duplicate 'copies' have been found in Gov. Walkers petitions.... why there are copies that is still a question waiting for an answer.... also there are many duplicate signatures... The number will quickly go down... and.... they were not correct on the turn in counts on any of the senators.... Sooooooooooooo for sure is less then a million...
Craig February 10, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Nancy: The link only leads you to find the law. No list of felons who can't vote....just proves my statement above. Not today--Thanks for playing.
Randy1949 February 10, 2012 at 04:07 PM
@Cynthia -- Please define 'copies'. Do you mean the same name and signature on different petition sheets? Or do you mean two copies of the same petition sheet? If it's the same petition sheet appearing twice, that's an error at the GAB -- either scanning the same sheet twice by accident, or double-posting it. Less than a million is still more than 543,000. And it's a lot of people annoyed with our Governor.
Cynthia February 10, 2012 at 04:33 PM
They are 'copies'........... exact same sheet presented twice, not ran through a scanner by accident, they are individually numbered......................... (numbers are placed on the petitions by the recall committee and NOT the GAB... there is no reason for this... except fraud. One example.... here are 2 pages from Gov. Walkers........... this also happened in the Senator petitions......... one has to wonder why 'copies' are allowed and why the dems 'copied' and submitted them as originals. #151844+ 151845 exact copies
Craig February 10, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Cynthia: Out of curiosity, do the pages appear to be an exact copy? Or do they appear to be slightly different as a means to intentionally defraud?
Cynthia February 10, 2012 at 05:02 PM
They are copied and numbered to count more then once................ Question is .... Why were copies made in the first place and issued to GAB is individual pages? Here is a set from Gov. Walker's ...... #151844+ 151845 exact copies
Cynthia February 10, 2012 at 05:05 PM
From Sen. Galloway's Pages 4701-B and 4703 Pages 4705 is a copy of 1584. Even marked COPY
Cynthia February 10, 2012 at 05:16 PM
WHOA................... Look at this..... Only 6 non-eligible from the list .... but anyway... don't think this recall election is happening........... LOL http://webapps.wi.gov/sites/recall/Written%20Challenges/Senate%20District%2023/Moulton_%20%20Written%20Challenge%20of%20Senator%20Terry%20Moulton%20-%2010976147%20v%201.PDF
Craig February 10, 2012 at 05:30 PM
I would like to agree with you, but I have strong reservations about the GAB.
Cynthia February 10, 2012 at 05:38 PM
They would hope they don't twist more rules..... this is already being watched on a National level.
Randy1949 February 10, 2012 at 05:49 PM
So there IS a list of non-eligible voters? Kinda proves Craig wrong in his discussion with Nancy, above.
skinnyDUDE February 10, 2012 at 07:02 PM
It is heading to the courts as any GAB ruling that verifies signatures which are technically illegal or obvious fraud that ruling can be challenged in the courts.. I mean if the recall rules are not followed why have rules??? It is a pretty easy case in common sense . But the left only believes in rules when they apply too someone else. The end justifies the means for the Libs and Fraud is perfectly acceptable to far too many of them . A sad reality by any measure!
Nancy Hall February 14, 2012 at 01:04 AM
@Steve...homeless people have as much right to vote as you do. There are procedures in place for establishing residence and identity for voting purposes. Judging from the general tone of your posts; I would guess that the average homeless person is smarter, better educated, and better informed on current events and the operation of government than you are.
Nancy Hall February 14, 2012 at 01:30 AM
I'm surprised that anyone would have trouble understanding how and why governments keep track of who is incarcerated, who is serving probation, and who is completing parole. These people have to be supervised by governmental agencies from the time they're arrested until the time they're finished with parole. Whether they're in a local jail or state prison, living at home with monitoring, or on parole; somebody is keeping track of where they are and what they're up to. How would these agencies know who they're supposed to be supervising unless they kept lists? How could an agency operate a jail or prison without knowing who was supposed to be there? Maintaining and sharing databases is a fairly simple matter in the age of electronic record keeping. I'm sure the GAB is one of several agencies that receive frequent updates so that they can keep their records current. How, for example, do you think agencies that oversee benefit programs like SSI know when to terminate the benefits of someone who has been incarcerated? The GAB probably updates their records when there's a need, as there would be when there's an election or a recall. I can't imagine that it would cost much to collect the information. It would just be a matter of assembling electronic data transmissions from the relevant agencies. Printing the lists for each polling place would be an incidental expense when compared with other costs like printing ballots and compiling poll books.
Craig February 14, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Randy: If I am wrong, show me proof. If you think there is a list that is up to date, provide a link to it. Probation and parole agents can't even get real time information, how would the GAB?
Nancy Hall February 14, 2012 at 01:36 AM
@Craig...the lists aren't for you and they aren't for the junior detectives who are knocking themselves out checking names against CCAP. They're for polling places. If you read the website I linked, it clearly states that the GAB is not yet making electronic lists. Even when they do, it's possible that they'll be accessible only to those who oversee elections. I absolutely guarantee that on election day, there will be paper lists of ineligible voters at each and every polling place. Try to reason this out...how could the police and correctional agencies operate if they didn't keep records of who they arrested and who was in their custody? Think about it. Schools have lists of students. Hospitals have lists of patients. Hotels have lists of guests. Businesses have lists of employees. Correctional facilities have lists of inmates.
Nancy Hall February 15, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Are you suggesting that because this is an editorial, it doesn't have to be accurate? That's an astonishing argument, but it explains a lot.
Nancy Hall February 15, 2012 at 03:05 AM
There is no link to lists of ineligible voters. Not all information in the world is available online. There will be lists at the polling places on the 21st. They're checked when prospective voters register.

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