RPW Solicits Volunteers for Potential Voter Intimidation

Leaked Email Seeks Challengers for 'Intimidating' Polling Places

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Potential voter intimidation plans by the Republican Party of Wisconsin were exposed after the leak of an RPW email calling for volunteers at “inner city” polling locations called “more intimidating” by the RPW’s director of election day operations.

According to a story written by the Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Mary Pat Flaherty, the RPW email sought “names of Milwaukee area veterans, policemen, security personnel, firefighters…” to volunteer at inner city polling places, presumably to challenge voters, disqualify voters and create long lines which will cause working people to leave the polls without voting.

“This appears to be a roadmap for the Republican Party of Wisconsin’s possible election day voter intimidation strategy,” said Scot Ross, Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now. “Voter intimidation is a felony and can be punishable with a fine of $10,000 and up to three-and-a-half years in prison.”

Ross said One Wisconsin Now’s research and education affiliated organization, One Wisconsin Institute, is distributing guidelines outlining the illegality of voter intimidation, what constitutes voter intimidation and the punishments for violating the law.

The legal guidelines are available at: http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/voterintimidation and have been sent to the Government Accountability Board with a request it be distributed statewide and posted in polling locations across Wisconsin.

“The law is clear that an individual who commits voter intimidation is the one on the hook for fines and prison time,” said Ross. “If the Republican Party of Wisconsin is thinking about sending volunteers to intimidate voters, the individuals should know it is the individuals who could be fined and sent to prison. That’s something of which these volunteers should be aware.”

One Wisconsin Now and One Wisconsin Institute have worked to ensure fair and clean elections in Wisconsin. For more information about voter rights, visit www.ProtectWisconsinsVote.org.

The Washington Post story is available at: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/10/14/a_wis_call_for_gop_poll_watche.html.

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