New Election Task Force Must Investigate Specifics of False Absentee Ballot Mailing

Details Refused about Who Is At Risk for Disenfranchisement

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MILWAUKEE — The newly-announced election task force by Attorney General JB Van Hollen and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm must make its first task a complete investigation of the John McCain presidential campaign’s recent statewide absentee ballot application mailing, which numerous recipients report contains faulty information which could negate their registration.

“John McCain’s campaign sent faulty absentee ballots around the state and refuses to let Wisconsin know how many of us may be at risk,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “This new task force, headed by McCain’s campaign co-chair, Attorney General JB Van Hollen, needs to do the right thing right away and investigate whether this was a deliberate and coordinated voter disenfranchisement scheme.”

Reports surfaced Friday that Wisconsinites were receiving absentee ballot applications at their home from the McCain campaign, which included incorrect return address information. Serious election-day problems which could emerge from the McCain mailing include people failing to receive their ballot, as well as long line nightmares at the polls.

The McCain campaign pointedly refused to answer questions from a reporter, leaving the Republican Party of Wisconsin to provide the vague and disturbing answer that it was “hundreds of thousands” of Wisconsinites who received the mailing. The faulty mailing includes the McCain campaign logo, campaign information and photographs of John McCain.

“If this was a simple mistake, why does the McCain campaign refuse to protect the voters whose rights are at risk?” asked Ross. “Their refusal will raise suspicions among many that this was a deliberate effort to mislead and disenfranchise targeted voters. No one expects them to admit it was intentional, but it’s far past time they answer questions from people and law enforcement in Wisconsin.”

This controversy comes on the heels of a frivolous and partisan lawsuit filed last week by Wisconsin Attorney General and McCain campaign state co-chair, JB Van Hollen against the taxpayer-funded state Government Accountability Board, which if successful, could also disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of additional voters including Wisconsin soldiers serving in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One Wisconsin Now believes fair and clean elections are a critical issue for the state of Wisconsin and protecting the right to vote is essential in this.

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.