MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen has put the Republican Party ahead of the taxpayers of Wisconsin by filing a frivolous election lawsuit and must, as state co-chair of John McCain’s presidential campaign, recuse himself from all election-related litigation this year, according to One Wisconsin Now.
“Van Hollen is doing the bidding of the Republican Party to compromise the right to vote for hundreds of thousands of legal Wisconsin voters,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “And he’s making taxpayers pick up the tab both for filing the frivolous, partisan suit and defending against it.”
Van Hollen, a Republican who is co-chair of John McCain’s presidential campaign in Wisconsin, filed suit against the state’s Government Accountability Board Wednesday. That followed days of complaining by the Republican Party of Wisconsin over a decision by the Government Accountability Board against retroactively cross-checking voter registration as far back as January 1, 2006 against Department of Transportation records.
“McCain talks about ‘Country First.’ Van Hollen practices ‘Party First,’” Ross said. “Van Hollen should recuse himself from lawsuits regarding this election. He has a clear conflict of interest.”
Van Hollen’s lawsuit calls for voters who don’t match to be taken from the registered voter lists. Van Hollen’s suit would allow people to be dropped from the voter rolls and be forced to cast provisional ballots because of simple clerical errors or the omission of a middle initial. Recently, the GAB announced that four of the six judges on its own board failed a complete match against the voter data.
“Van Hollen’s use of the Attorney General’s office to serve the Republican Party should frighten every Wisconsin taxpayer – Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens and Independents,” said Ross. “Haven’t we had enough of that partisanship from George W. Bush and Alberto Gonzales?”
As directed by HAVA, the Board directed the checks to begin this year, but rejected Republican Party calls to go back several years. At a meeting in August, municipal clerks testified to GAB the multi-year retroactive check would compromise efforts to run fair and clean elections this November and could prevent, among other problems, absentee ballots being sent overseas to Wisconsin soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Attorney General Van Hollen is acting in response to the Republican Party masters,” said Ross. “He’s willing to do this even if it hinders our brave soldiers fighting overseas the ability to vote.”
Immediately following Van Hollen filing the lawsuit, the Republican Party of Wisconsin issued a release praising Van Hollen’s partisan action. RPW Chair Reince Priebus said Van Hollen “lived up to an important campaign promise” by filing the frivolous lawsuit.