Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wis. AG Van Hollen Drops Vote Check Lawsuit. I Guess Voter Purging Now Won’t Change Election Results?


First a little background. Before the presidential election, Attorney Gen. J.B. Van Hollen sued the state board of elections over not retroactively checking registrations starting in 2006. According to AP:
The board resisted, arguing there wasn't enough time to properly do the retroactive checks prior to the Nov. 4 election. Van Hollen's lawsuit was dismissed by a judge days before the election. Van Hollen appealed.

The Government Accountability Board indicated at the time the count would be taken up after the election. Van Hollen thought that was to after the fact, and went ahead with his appeal. Now that the GAB made it official, that they'll begin the checks from as far back as 2006:
“Van Hollen said Thursday he will drop a lawsuit he filed against the state board that oversees elections after the board agreed to do what he wanted. Van Hollen commended the board, saying it was unfortunate it hadn't taken the action before he filed the lawsuit and the appeal, which he said was now unnecessary. And while Van Hollen said the board remains out of compliance with the law, he was pleased that it is now taking steps to comply. Van Hollen denied any partisan motivation, and Republicans said they were trying to preserve the integrity of the election.
Of course, few were fooled by this partisan co-chair of the McCain Campaign.

Democratic critics accused Van Hollen of filing the lawsuit to block people from voting and dampen turnout.

Will the Republicans be happy with the results? Hardly. Even though:A report by the board showed that about 90 percent of voter checks done between Aug. 6 and Jan. 4 matched. The report found that 92 percent of the non matches were caused by problems with names and driver license numbers, such as misspellings or typos. But there is no way to determine how many of those that didn't match were the result of fraud, the report said. Board staff member Sarah Whitt said no fraud investigations were launched as a result of a voter check mismatch.

Had the board required those whose information didn't match to cast provisional ballots, about 21,000 would have been cast … compares with just 271 provisional ballots that were cast in the 2006 general election. The possibility of there being such a large number of provisional ballots cast on Election Day, and possibly long
lines of angry voters waiting to register, was one of the fears....

....And one of the reasons for the lawsuit.

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