Hand Count Votes Now! Info and Updates

On Tuesday, don't forget to vote on paper!

If your polling place uses touch-screen voting machines you have the right to ask to vote on a paper ballot instead.  Voting on paper allows you, the voter, to physically mark your ballot, and ensures your ballot will be hand-counted as cast.  It is extremely important you forward this information to your friends and family throughout Wisconsin.

October Campaign Update

Over the past four weeks we have been working hard to complete a few last counts, continue the legal fight for the right to count in Waukesha County, and finalize the process of analyzing the enormous amount of hand counted data we've collected over the past two and a half months.

Additionally, on October 25th Hand Count Votes Now members testified at a special election integrity hearing called by State Senator Kathleen Vinehout.  At the hearing Jolie Lizotte and Margy Lambert spoke about the preliminary findings of this historic project, and listed out action steps the government and public can take to protect future elections.

Because the amount of data we have collected is so massive we unfortunatley will be unable to release our final report prior to the November general election.  So much hard work and dedication has gone into this project over the past four months that we feel we must give the data the statsitical attention it deserves before releasing.  To stay up to date on the latest campaign info please sign up for email updates here.

In the meantime, please visit our fellow Liberty Tree project No More Stolen Elections! to learn about how you can protect the upcoming fall election.

Mid-September Campaign Update

Two months ago Liberty Tree's Wisconsin Wave project began an historic hand-count of ballots from the June 5th gubernatorial recall election.  The premise was simple- with abuse prone machines tallying most of the votes on election night, only a hand-count could prove to what extent official totals reflected the true intent of Wisconsin voters.
Now, almost 1,000 volunteers and hundreds of thousands of ballots later, we are preparing to wrap up this vital campaign and issue a report with our findings.
What we have found so far includes:
  • Inconsistent and tamper-prone methods of securing ballot bags
  • Widespread use of unverifiable touch screen machines in a state where these devices are officially designated as handicap accessible equipment only
  • And most disturbingly, a number of counties where our hand-counts of paper optiscan ballots often differed from election night totals.
What still needs to be done:
  1. Waukesha County- last month we won a huge victory in the fight to count ballots in Waukesha.  Infamous county clerk Kathy Nickolaus (of the 2011 Supreme Court race fame) had threatened to illegally destroy the ballots, but backed down in the face of grassroots pressure.  However she is still refusing to grant us access to the election materials, and so the fight to count in this hugely important county continues!
  2. Finishing up counts in other high priority counties where discrepancies have been found.  The bigger our data set, the more complete our picture of these problems will be.
  3. Compiling what percentage of Wisconsin voters used unverifiable touch-screen voting machines.  Unbelievably, this information is not compiled by the state election authority, and so normally is not available to the public (or anyone for that matter).

After we have completed these crucial tasks we will be releasing a report detailing our findings along with action steps to protect the upcoming fall election.

We will also again be putting out the call for nationwide voter assemblies on November 7th (the day after the election) - gatherings that will serve as instant organizing platforms if there is evidence that the fall election was stolen.

Your contribution is needed today to make this important work possible.  At the Wisconsin Wave we run our election integrity efforts under the banner No More Stolen Elections- together we can make that battle cry a reality!

Waukesha Ballot Update- 8/13

The Waukesha County Clerk's office has confirmed as of about 10am on Monday morning that the ballots will NOT be destroyed today after all.  This is a HUGE victory as it means there is still time to fight Kathy Nickolaus's denial of our open records request to view and count the ballots! 
More details about this decision forthcoming.  In the meantime please see Brad Blog's coverage of this developing issue here.

Action Alert- Rally in Waukesha to Prevent Ballot Destruction!

While many County Clerks have been more than happy to work with us, Waukesha County's Kathy Nickolaus has illegally denied our open records request to view ballots in the county.

Furthermore, just last FRIDAY we learned that she is illegally planning on destroying Waukesha's ballots as early as THIS Monday at NOON, despite the fact that open records law gives petitioners 60 days to appeal a denial. If the ballot destruction does occur we'll never know to what extent machine error and/or fraud might have affected election totals in Waukesha!

Spread the word on Facebook =>   

Campaign Update- 8/9/12

It's been one month since the Wisconsin Wave and our coalition partners at Hand Count Votes Now launched a Citizen Audit to verify the integrity of the June 5th recall election.
In that short amount of time the overwhelming response to this historic campaign has allowed us to make a tremendous amount of progress.  Some of our accomplishments so far include:
  • Recruiting and training over 750 volunteers from all over Wisconsin and beyond
  • Hand counting ballots in more than 10 high-priority counties
  • Educating people across the state and the country about the importance of hand counting ballots
Unfortunately what we've found so far is not encouraging.  In many parts of the state there are serious election integrity issues including lax ballot bag security, widespread use of unverifiable touch screen voting machines, and most disturbingly, wards where the hand counts differ significantly from election night machine reported totals!
It is still too early to know the overall impact these discrepancies had on the recall election.  What the preliminary results do affirm is the extent to which the machines that count our ballots are prone to systemic error and abuse.  Further, these results powerfully support the idea that only paper ballots counted by hand on election night can guarantee a free and fair election.
Right now we are on target to count ballots in an additional 10 counties over the next two weeks.   With your volunteer and by financial support, counting in 20 or even 30 additional counties will be possible!
However while many County Clerks' offices are being extremely cooperative, some are still putting up onerous financial and logistical barriers.  Some, like Waukesha County's Kathy Nickolaus, have actually outright denied our open records request for access to ballots!
To fight these barriers and to gain access to areas like Waukesha County we need the resources to continue to expand our operation.  The more data we are able to collect through the Citizen Audit, the more hard evidence we'll have in the fight for real changes to the way our ballots are cast, stored, and counted.  With the 2012 general election just around the corner, the stakes couldn't be higher.

=> To volunteer as a ballot counter at locations throughout the state click here

=> To contribute to this important effort to safeguard our democracy click here

Campaign Background

No  More Stolen ElectionsHow did Wisconsin REALLY vote on June 5th?

Exit polls reported by major news outlets at 8pm put the race at a 50-50 dead heatHowever less than an hour later, with only 25% of precincts reporting, those same outlets called the race for Walker.  This early prediction was later matched by the official count which settled at 53% for Walker and 46% for Barrett.

But was that how Wisconsinites really voted?  As recent history such as Ohio in 2004 shows, huge disparities between exit polls and official totals can point to systemic fraud in the tamper-prone machines that count our ballots.

These concerns were amplified when citizen-observers monitoring the Racine Senate recount decided to also double check the gubernatorial race.  The results were extremely disturbing- in the Racine wards which were fully hand counted, statistically significant differences were found between the hand counted totals and the GAB reported totals.  Even more troubling, in EVERY case these disparities benefited Walker over Barrett, drastically decreasing the likelihood they could've been caused by random erro

No  More Stolen ElectionsThe ONLY way to know if the Recall was free of systematic fraud and abuse is to hand count the ballots!  
A grassroots coalition, which includes the Wisconsin Wave, has formed to verify the accuracy and integrity of the election results.  Called “Hand Count Votes Now!,’’ we’ve gotten the ball rolling by filing open records requests to access the ballots in all 72 Wisconsin counties, and teams have already been sent out to perform hand counts.

However time is of the essence, and your support is needed right now!

Some counties are threatening to destroy their ballots within the next two weeks unless onerous and arbitrary fees are paid to satisfy the open records request.  This means we must raise thousands of dollars in a short amount of the time to complete this vital project.  It also means we must move quickly to count as many ballots as we can.