Wisconsin Election Protection and securing the vote

The “Wisconsin Insurgent Radio Network” show with Jim Mueller, attorney for Wisconsin Election Protection grassroots organizations is now archived for listening. Protecting the security and accuracy of our elections is paramount – as Mueller stated, billions of dollars are being invested in political power. It is critical to assure that election tampering is not unduly influencing our elections; especially at a time post-Citizens United when money already has an outsized influence on democracy. A group of grassroots organizations is in the process of conducting a county-by-county hand recount of recall election ballots. The count will be compared with the electronic results reported on election night and certified by the Government Accountability Board.

New York Times magazine featured an article pointing out the unreliability of electronic voting machines in 2008. Clive Thompson’s piece follows election irregularities in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and outlines the (at that time) growing concern over computer control of our elections.

A WNYC article from May 9, 2012 documents voting machines “dropping votes” in the Bronx, New York – nearly 30% in one precinct.

A short documentary titled “Hacking Democracy” demonstrates the ease in which vote totals can be changed by remote access on a simple laptop computer.

The basic problem is that a handful of privately owned companies are controlling the technology and mechanisms controlling HOW our most fundamental right to vote is counted…or not. These corporations have too much control over the process and equipment – to the point of “trade secret” protecting software programming.

You can get involved by going to “Wisconsin Counts” on Facebook, or www.wisconsinwave.org/handcount to volunteer to assist with the public handcounting of the recall election ballots.

For the record, the GAB states that Wisconsin goes through rigorous testing of machines before elections; including running “test packs” of ballots (small samples) to test for accuracy. This testing, according to the GAB, leads to certification of equipment before an election takes place.

Jim Mueller addresses this statement in the interview…you’ll have to listen to hear his response.

Help support independent, progressive journalism and research on Badger Democracy…Solidarity!


Wisconsin is still a leader…in job losses

This morning’s US Department of Labor press release tells a continuing tale of stagnant job growth and a long-term unemployment problem in Wisconsin.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending July 7 were in New York (+22,336), Michigan (+7,602), Ohio (+5,976), Pennsylvania (+4,775), and Wisconsin (+4,615), while the largest decreases were in California (-9,016), New Jersey (-5,282), Connecticut (-917), Massachusetts (-716), and Oklahoma (-671). 

Wisconsin (population 5.7 million) is number 4 in initial unemployment claims – behind New York (population 19.4 million), Michigan (population 9.8 million) , Ohio (population 11.5 million), and Pennsylvania (population 12.7 million) – all states with significantly larger populations.

The rise in claims erases the modest drop in claims last week of 663. This is further evidence of flat job growth, and a long-term unemployment problem. The added consequences of an extreme drought will make this economic situation worse.

The question is…Where is Scott Walker? While Walker is off playing political superstar, there is now the opportunity for a special session of the Legislature which could actually act in a bi-partisan session. We do not need a governor-in-absentia, we need leadership.  Again, as Wisconsinites are suffering through a depressed economy, Walker and his allies are playing politics…with people’s lives.