GAB Complaint Filed Over RGA Mailing With Incorrect Voter Information; Van Hollen Asked to Investigate

RGA Absentee Ballot Mailing Sends Voter Request to Wrong Municipality

MADISON, Wis. — A formal complaint with the state Government Accountability Board was filed yesterday by the recipient of an absentee ballot application sent by the Washington, DC-based Republican Governors Association. The absentee ballot mailer contained faulty information which could disenfranchise voters.

One Wisconsin Now is calling for Attorney General JB Van Hollen and his election integrity task face to immediately investigate the mailing. The absentee mailing, received by Kevin Gundlach of Madison, contained the clerk address of a different municipality, which would have likely resulted in Gundlach not receiving a timely absentee ballot.

The complaint alleges a violation of s.12.13(3)(i), which says that “no person may falsely make any statement for the purpose of obtaining or voting an absentee ballot under ss. 6.85 to 6.87.”

“Once again, Republicans are sending a suspicious absentee mailing to more liberal voting areas, which could disenfranchise the voter,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “In 2008, the Republican Party of Wisconsin and the McCain for President campaign did the same thing – and now the Republican Governors Association is doing whatever it can to try and steal the election for Scott Walker.”

The RGA, which has spent over $2.5 million just since September to elect Walker, sent the mailing to Gundlach last week. Earlier this month, a similar absentee ballot mailings from the RGA came under fire for using detailed personal information like date of birth and phone numbers of voters in Milwaukee.

“These RGA mailings have been plagued with problems from the start, and the people of Wisconsin deserve answers,” said Ross. “Attorney General Van Hollen needs to investigate this mailing to find out just how many voters in Wisconsin were targeted with this faulty mailing. If Van Hollen can spend 20 months investigating 11 total improper voters from 2008, he can surely find time to investigate this mailing that could potentially impact an untold number of Wisconsin voters.”

A similar issue arose in 2008 when One Wisconsin Now exposed another faulty absentee ballot application mailed by the John McCain for President campaign. Van Hollen, who was state co-chair of the McCain campaign, refused to investigate the mailing.

This controversy comes on the heels of the exposure by One Wisconsin Now of a coordinated plot involving the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin and organizations in the so-called Tea Party movement targeting minority voters and college students in a possibly-illegal “voter caging” effort aimed at suppressing voters.

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.