Yesterday in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin—in Waukesha County—local officials shut down a citizen exit poll run by the Election Defense Alliance, who were there to determine the accuracy of the vote-count in the Democratic primary in anticipation of the effort to recall State Senator Alberta Darling, a GOP stalwart and close Walker ally.
The officials’ rationale is in the article below: that the pollsters were “electioneering” too close to the polling place.
This is a preposterous argument, since exit polls necessarily involve handing out forms with the names of ALL the candidates, as EDA’s Jonathan Simon explains:
“Obviously exit poll ballots (e.g., Edison-Mitofsky’s quasi-official ballots) have to have candidate names on them and exit polling is explicitly permitted by the GAB within the 100-foot perimeter. The difference between exit polling (where all candidate names are present without bias, distinction, or advocacy) and electioneering (where only certain candidate names are present, with advocacy, while others are excluded or disparaged) is obvious, and it is clear that the GAB has applied the electioneering section of the law improperly to exit polling by automatically and speciously equating the presence of candidate names with electioneering even though it is obvious that our exit poll activities are in no respect electioneering.”
Of course, the argument’s absurdity is quite beside the point, which was to wipe out an attempt to monitor a race that Darling needs to “win,” regardless of the will of the electorate.
Exit pollsters draw complaints from voters
By Mike Johnson of the Journal Sentinel
The state Government Accountability Board and local election officials in Menomonee Falls and Butler have received several complaints about a group conducting an exit poll of voters in Tuesday’s Democratic primary to determine who takes on Sen. Alberta Darling in next month’s recall election.
The group, Election Defense Alliance, is trying to check the accuracy of the vote but was handing out literature too close to voting sites in Menomonee Falls, according to Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Government Accountability Board.
When voters were coming out of the polls, the group was attempting to give them an exit poll paper that looks similar to a ballot and had candidate names on it, Magney said. State law prohibits the distribution of material with candidate names within 100 feet of a polling place, he said.