“Verify the Recall” Inspires Unprecedented Recall Petition Audit Effort

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The integrity of Wisconsin elections is on the verge of implosion, as United Wisconsin’s coordinated effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker has purportedly led to the submission of more than 1,000,000 petition signatures; leaving the overseer of Wisconsin elections, the Government Accountability Board, with a mountain of data in need of verification and no clear capability to conduct an audit of such scale.

Election integrity on the verge of implosion in Wisconsin

Americans intuitively understand what the implications are if government can not or will not uphold its responsibility of election oversight.

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The integrity of Wisconsin elections is on the verge of implosion, as United Wisconsin’s coordinated effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker has purportedly led to the submission of more than 1,000,000 petition signatures; leaving the overseer of Wisconsin elections, the Government Accountability Board, with a mountain of data in need of verification and no clear capability to conduct an audit of such scale. Unwilling to allow the abandonment of due process, True the Vote, together with Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty and We the People of the Republic, launched Verify the Recall, an effort to engage citizens in an independent, comprehensive audit of recall petition signatures. To date, this unprecedented effort has inspired more than 9,000 citizens to sign on, all ready to serve as the nation’s largest all-volunteer data entry army.

True the Vote, a nonpartisan election integrity organization based in Houston, Texas, is providing the technology required to process and examine the approximately 1,000,000 names. “Americans intuitively understand what the implications are if government can not or will not uphold its responsibility of election oversight,” said True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht. “True the Vote was founded to provide a coordinated program through which American citizens can participate in the support of free and fair elections. The response to the Verify the Recall effort is a clear indication of our citizenry’s willingness to support the rights of legitimate voters.”

Currently, the Wisconsin GAB is planning to undertake an audit of very limited scope, relying on optical scanning software to identify signature abnormalities. This plan stands in stark contrast to Verify the Recall’s effort, which will engage volunteers in entering all signature data, submit each line to a triple blind accuracy check,and inspect for duplicates, omissions, ineligibilities, forgery, and fraud. Tim Dake, co-founder of Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty, said “We’ve recently learned that the GAB will attempt to use automated scanners. We applaud their efforts, but make no mistake, their process will not produce anywhere near the results ours will. There is no comparison between a scanner and thousands of Americans working to uphold our most sacred of processes.”

Last week, Verify the Recall revved its engine with a trial run, undertaking an audit of the 2011 recall petition effort involving Wisconsin State Senator Dan Kapanke. Within a few days, Verify volunteers had entered over 125,000 records, the results of which proved very telling. Nearly 500 signatures were accepted by the GAB that, upon closer inspection, should have been omitted because they were outside of the acceptable date range for the petition. More disturbing however, was that of the approximately 21,000 names in the petition, over 9,000 should have been challenged based on everything from illegibility to non-existent addresses. These types of errors would likely never be caught by a scanning system alone.

Recently, speculation has swirled regarding the standing of Verify the Recall and the permissibility of their findings for purposes of challenge. “It is unconscionable to think that legitimate citizen challenges would not be accepted by the Wisconsin GAB”, said We the People of the Republic founder Ross Brown, “Our legal counsel is examining all options, but regardless of what is determined, we are proceeding with the audit. If the GAB will not accept our findings, we believe the public will still be very interested to learn what we uncover. We encourage people to get involved with Verify the Recall. This is our republic in action.”

The leaders of the Verify the Recall effort a planning a press conference for next Tuesday, January 24th, in the rotunda of Wisconsin’s capitol, where they will announce in greater detail the full scope of their historic effort.

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Catherine Engelbrecht
True The Vote
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