The votes barely counted, and a recount likely — the state Supreme Court race in Wisconsin is not yet truly over. But John Fund, Wall Street Journal columnist and long time voter fraud fearmongerer, is already crying foul in the election that’s become a proxy fight over Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) assault on collective bargaining rights — and increasingly looks like a win for progressives.
On a WSJ webcast this afternoon, Fund speculated that investigators in Dane County — home to Madison and a big part of the state’s left-leaning electorate — or even the state attorney general will be called in to examine what Fund said were thousands of strange ballots which suggest something amiss in the election.“Apparently there were up 10,000 ballots in Dane that just voted on the Supreme Court race,” Fund said, “which is bizarre because there was an extremely close race for mayor of Madison an extremely close race for Dane County Executive.”
The Dane County Executive race was certainly closely watched, but it was far from “extremely close.” Democratic state Rep. Joe Parisi won with 70% of the vote. The Mayor’s race, which was extremely tight, pitted two left-leaning candidates against each other.
It’s possible Fund meant to reference the Milwaukee County Executive race, which was closer (61-39) than the Dane County race and also went to the Democratic-supported candidate. Fund has criticized the electoral process in Milwaukee before, and claimed that officials there didn’t do enough to prevent fraud in the 2004 race.
Fund has long claimed that widespread voter fraud plagues the nation’s voting systems. More recently he appeared at a True the Vote conference in Texas, one of several states where legislatures are debating or passing restrictive voter ID laws.
The Wisconsin Republican Party previously shelved an idea to coordinate with Tea Party groups to check out voter registrations by looking through the white pages and Google Maps and even driving by houses and apartments to conduct visual checks.
Back in 2008, Fund wrote that problems with elections stem from Wisconsin’s same-day voter law, “which allows anyone to show up at the polls, register and then cast a ballot. ID requirements are minimal. If someone lacks any ID, he can vote so long as someone who lives in the same city vouches for him.” In 2010, he warned of an “attempt to hijack the state’s election laws and open the door for voter fraud failed at the last minute.”
As Democrats and progressives appear to have notched another win with Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg declaring victory in the Supreme Court race over incumbent David Prosser, Fund says he expects at least some of the vote was improper.
“It’s passing strange that you would have perhaps thousands of voters going to the polling place and just voting in this one election,” he said today. Fund predicts a long recount process following the final results from the Supreme Court race.
The margin is so thin that a recount is likely, but Fund says the recanvass should include investigations into the thousands of votes that look fishy to him.
“I think we’re seeing the Florida 2000 recount all over again,” he said. “But this time instead of sun it’s going to feature snow.”
Correction: This post originally said an automatic recount would be triggered by the Supreme Court race’s narrow margin. The post has been changed to correctly state that the margin is slim enough that Prosser is entitled to a recount at state expense.
Additional reporting by Ryan J. Reilly.
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