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'Honest Vote Wisconsin' to Press for Voter Registration Reform

by Staff
October 14, 2008
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MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, ( -- A new bi-partisan group, Honest Vote Wisconsin, has been formed to push state election officials to adhere to the federal voter laws which require Wisconsin to conduct matching checks of new voter registrations back to January of 2006. The Government Accountability Board has refused to look at voter registrations prior to August 6, 2008.

Honest Vote Wisconsin Chair John Savage, a Milwaukee attorney and former member of the Wisconsin State Elections Board, said there is no excuse for the GAB's lack of action.

"Wisconsin has been sullied by election fraud in the past," Savage said. "The bipartisan HAVA law was passed by Congress so the people of our state will have confidence that only honest votes will be counted. Every illegal vote cast dilutes the impact of the honest voter. Every Wisconsin citizen has the right to expect that its officials will take appropriate measures to produce the cleanest possible voting rolls and at a minimum adhere to federal standards."

Honest Vote Wisconsin Co-Chair Tillie Bichanich said the non-partisan group will also call on Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi to expedite proceedings on Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's against the Government Accountability Board. Judge Sumi has postponed further action in the case until October 23, just 12 days before the election.

"Justice delayed is justice denied," Savage said.

"Judge Sumi does not seem to understand that this case cannot be treated as an ordinary lawsuit," Bichanich said. "A decision needs to be rendered in a timely fashion so that the GAB will have enough time to do the job they should have done in the first place."

Bichanich also blasted the GAB for prohibiting municipal clerks from running checks on new registrations made prior to August 6.

"It is outrageous that clerks trying do the right thing to adhere to federal law are being told they are not authorized to do so," Bichanich said. "You would think they would be delighted the clerks are taking the initiative."

Savage said Honest Vote Wisconsin will work to raise the awareness of Wisconsin citizens on voter registration reform and voter fraud while keeping the spotlight on the election officials between now and November 4.

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