FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               Contacts:  Jonathan Simon 617-538-6012

Sally Castleman 781-454-8700

GAB Shutting Down Non-Partisan Exit Polls in Wisconsin

The Government Accounting Board (GAB), apparently changing their regulations as they go along, has effectively shut down citizen-run exit polls in today’s Democratic Primary Recall Election in Wisconsin.

Despite having the GAB Regulations (§§5.35 (5), 7.37 (2) ) in hand plus a letter from Kevin Kennedy, head of the GAB, both clearly allowing exit polling, the GAB today, through GAB member David Buerger, has said that the group is “electioneering” because candidates names appear on the polling “ballot.”  He further dictated that no voter would be allowed to touch an exit poll ballot, that pollsters can only verbally ask the voters their responses.  This despite the fact that Edison-Mitofsky, the polling company commissioned by the Media Consortium to conduct Exit Polling nationally over the last many years, uses written polling ballots that the voters fill in themselves.

The polls were being run by concerned Wisconsin citizens volunteering under the guidance of Election Defense Alliance and Protect California Ballots, two non-partisan organizations with the mission of restoring transparency to our elections.  Both organizations have run non-partisan exit polls many times in the past in close to a dozen states.   Neither group has ever been harassed in such a way before.

“This is reasoning beyond specious”, said  Jonathan Simon, Director of Election Defense Alliance. “Exit polling in this country has been going on for decades. To call it ‘electioneering’ simply because candidates names appear on the poll ballot, when all names appear without any advocacy involved, is absurd.  This is concealment in OUR elections.  Public participation is being forbidden!”

“If exit polling has now conveniently been relabeled as ‘electioneering’ this spells the end of exit polling in America and one of the last few mechanisms for evaluating the legitimacy of official vote counts,” added Sally Castleman, National Chairperson of Election Defense Alliance.

“The implications for upcoming primary and general recall elections are of the utmost importance” said Simon.  “This encroachment on the public right of observation and participation must be challenged forcefully and immediately.”

“The irony of ‘Government Accountability’ is beyond belief,” Simon added.

Voters leaving the polling station in Menominee Falls were reporting to the pollsters that they were not being allowed to vote without photo ID.  When one of the volunteers tried to explain that the law says a photo ID is REQUESTED but not REQUIRED for this election, the Village Clerk reprimanded her for “interfering.”

In another related story, robo-calls, reportedly coming from Virginia, are being made to Democrats throughout the primary districts today telling them not to vote today because an absentee ballot is in the mail.

——————

— On Thu, 6/9/11, Kennedy, Kevin – GAB <Kevin.Kennedy@Wisconsin.gov> wrote:
From: Kennedy, Kevin – GAB <Kevin.Kennedy@Wisconsin.gov>
Subject: RE: HOW FAR AWAY DOES AN EXIT POLLER HAVE TO BE?
To: “‘Mary Magnuson'” <mary.magnuson@yahoo.com>
Date: Thursday, June 9, 2011, 6:16 PM

There is no distance restriction for exit polling. The distance restriction for electioneering is 100 feet from any entrance to a polling place. §12.03 (2)(b). The regulations governing exit polling are those that restrict interfering with the conduct of the election or distracting voters. We advise that exit polling may not happen in the voting area or the building because this would distract voters. We also say that the exit pollsters may not block access to the entrance to the building containing a polling place. §§5.35 (5), 7.37 (2)

I have attached a letter that is given to the exit polling organizations.

Kevin J. Kennedy

Director and General Counsel

Wisconsin Government Accountability Board

608-266-8005

kevin.kennedy@wi.gov

 

 



6 Comments to “WISCONSIN GAB SHUTS DOWN CITIZEN EXIT POLLS IN TODAY’S RECALL ELECTIONS”

  • AHA!! I won a bet … I bet there would be blatant, in-your-face voter suppression within FOUR HOURS of the polls opening. I’m now twenty bucks richer!!! Congratulations, fellow countrymen! This is what the future of democracy looks like …

  • THIS is exactly why I have opposed Walker and his henchmen from the first: they are an insult to fair and honest governance!

    We have to remove them all.

  • Exit polls are the trigger for the people to know if there has been “tampering” with the actual results. If the exit poll shows candidate A leading with an 80 % margin at the close of the day, then candidate B wins the election by 20 %, something is wrong and a recall can be asked for. Without exit polls there is no baseline to measure final results against and fake elections will be the norm.

  • Stuffing the ballot box is an age old tradition in America. Exit polls are a way of determining which boxes need to be stuffed. Come on fellow Democrats; we can lie cheat and steal this election and restore our greedy ways. Isn’t it fun shafting the taxpayers? Make them pay for our fat paychecks and benefits. We will laugh all the way to the bank.

  • I see nothing wrong with exit polls in general. What I take issue with and do believe ends up being electioneering, intended or not, is the public reporting of ongoing exit polling prior to the closing of all, and I mean all polling places. Consider where either a state or especially the naiont is divided by time zones the difference in closing time for some polling places is hours. People can be influenced, again even unintentionally, to stay home and not vote because they percieve thier favored candidate as having already lost. Once the official polls open there should be no information related to estimations of actual votes and tallies released until the last polling place closes. In the case of a national election it should be two tierd: the state and local election polls can be released once that state’s polling places are closed; for the national election, it shoule not be until the last polling place in the nation closes. Take all the exit polls you want be they for news ratings or independednt assessment of the voting irregularities, but hold the information that is gathered until after the last vote is cast and the polls close.

  • One added point. My primary peeve is with media outlets calling an election or estimating a winner based on exit polls before the polls have closed. There is nothing wrong with pundits discussing polls and data derived prior to the official polling hours on Election Day, just not data taken during the course of actual voting. With media bias (subtle and flagrant) abounding from countless ‘news’ outlets on both sides of the political spectrum I think their release and opinions of exit polls during voting hours crosses the line of electioneering.

Post comment

Forbidden Bookshelf

Forbidden Bookshelf




“While We Were Sleeping”

While We Were Sleeping is an urgent call to save Greenwich Village from New York University's uncontrolled expansion.

Click here to donate to NYUFASP and receive a copy of "While We Were Sleeping: NYU and the Destruction of New York" (minimum donation to receive a book is $10 plus $8 shipping).

Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD



About News From Underground

News From Underground is a daily e-news service run by Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU. It is based on his belief that academics, like reporters, have a civic obligation to help keep the people well-informed, so that American democracy might finally work.

If you'd like to receive updates delivered to your inbox daily, sign up for News From Underground Alerts:

Help News From Underground!





Message from Mark: "I am a one-man operation, although assisted greatly by some volunteers, and, now and then, by people paid by others for one-time projects. There is no shortage of skilled, dedicated folks out there who want to help me. There is, however, nothing I can pay them with, unless you decide you can contribute something."

Please donate via the PayPal button above or via PayPal by email to: markcrispinmiller@gmail.com

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Popular Posts

Blogroll

Need a bigger font size?




Sponsored Links



  • Your link could be here too, contact us for pricing details.