WASHINGTON, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ProtectOurElections.org today offered a $25,000 reward for "information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons for election tampering, resulting in reversal of the current outcome of the April 5, 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court election in which David Prosser is said to lead JoAnne Kloppenburg by more than 7,000 votes." A reward poster is located at http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/SC-Reward.pdf.
ProtectOurElections.org, a network of organizations spearheaded by government accountability watchdog group VelvetRevolution.us, had publicly encouraged Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg to pursue a statewide hand recount of the election. Kloppenburg did request the recount, now underway throughout the state. In some jurisdictions, however, the ballots are being tabulated by the same optical scan machines that produced the first vote count.
Moreover, evidence of very serious deficiencies in the chain of custody for ballots and ballots bags has been identified in a number of counties, as documented by observers on the ground, and as reported in detail on Tuesday by The BRAD BLOG.
"Advocates of election integrity have become experienced in seeing early warning signs that indicate possible election tampering, and we saw some of those indicators in this race," said project director Emily Levy. "For that reason, we strongly recommended that the votes be counted by hand statewide, since the computerized election systems are known to produce incorrect results and can easily be manipulated. Because these machines are not only being used in the recount but have actually been reprogrammed since the election, the counts cannot be trusted. Additionally, the chain of custody of election materials has been anything but secure. Neither we nor the public nor the candidates can know whether the ballots being recounted, whether counted by hand or by machine, are actually the ballots cast by voters. If there has been fraud -- and we don't know that there has – someone knows about it. We hope this reward will prompt them to step forward and present their evidence for the benefit of democracy."
Individuals with information regarding election fraud in the hotly contested race, including "evidence of falsification, alteration, or substitution of ballots or other election materials, illegal modification of election software, or fraudulent recount procedures" are asked to email tips to email@example.com. The identity of those who provide information will be kept strictly confidential, according to the group.
"From Hollywood movies to the television sitcoms, Wisconsin has a reputation for being clean. Wisconsin got that reputation by demanding clean government. That's what we are doing with this reward program, today," said Ben Manski, a Wisconsin attorney who is coordinator of the Wisconsin Wave, a member organization of ProtectOurElections.org.
ProtectOurElections.org is a network of organizations working to ensure the fairness of U.S. elections and to reverse privatization of the tools of democracy.