69°

Editorial: Why are Walker allies so rattled by early voting?

June 02, 2012 9:00 am  • 

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is alleging that Wisconsin has a history of massive voter fraud, and he was busy warning that Republican candidates need to be prepared to deal with fraudulent voting. "I’m always concerned about it, which is why I think we need to do a point or two better than where we think we need to be, to overcome it."

Right-wing talk radio hosts are going wild with complaints about busloads of students and low-income citizens voting early in Milwaukee. Gov. Scott Walker has even echoed the line.

But does Wisconsin have a voter fraud problem?

Election officials do not see it. Good government groups such as the League of Women Voters, Common Cause and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign say there is no such problem. And Richard Saks, a Milwaukee lawyer who has worked extensively on voter ID law cases, says: “The allegation that there is any kind of meaningful or significant or extensive vote fraud in Milwaukee or anywhere else in Wisconsin is totally erroneous."

In response to Priebus’ contention that GOP candidates “need to do a point or two better” to counteract fraudulent voters, Saks told the Wisconsin Radio Network: "We forecast a turnout of two and a half million votes in the election on June 5. Two percent of that would be 50,000 votes that would be fraudulently, unlawfully cast, which is an outrageous allegation."

Saks is right, of course.

But that's unlikely to prevent Walker, Priebus and their media echo chamber from continuing to spew their bile.

They're going to need an explanation for the enthusiasm that this recall election has generated among Wisconsinites.

And, apparently, a lie will do. 

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.