Wisconsin: Ending same-day voter registration would cost $5.2 million, board finds | Journal Sentinel

Ending election-day registration will cost the state $5.2 million or more initially, won’t reduce the administrative work of clerks and will still allow some people to register at the polls because of a federal law. Those details were included in a report sent to lawmakers Friday by the Government Accountability Board, which runs state elections. Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) are working on a bill to end the ability of voters to register to vote at the polls. GOP Gov. Scott Walker supports the idea, but Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) has cautioned that Republicans who control the Legislature have not yet decided what they want to do on the matter.

Wisconsin: No charges to be filed in Milwaukee recall election investigations | WisPolitics.com

No charges will be brought against two groups that were accused of election law violations in the run-up to the August recall election of Sen. Alberta Darling, according to a statement released this morning.

“It is unclear, at best, whether an offer to pay persons to gathers absentee ballot applications on a quota basis comes within the scope of the Election Bribery statute,” wrote Asst. Dist. Atty. Bruce Landgraf, the lead prosecutor on the case for Milwaukee County. “The statute as currently written does not give much guidance to those who wish to follow the dictates of the law, especially in the area of absentee voting.”

Wisconsin Right to Life gave campaign workers $25 gift cards for every 15 voters sympathetic to the anti-abortion cause that were enlisted for absentee voting. Wisconsin Jobs Now, a community and labor group, held five block parties on the northwest side of Milwaukee. They provided food, prizes and a lift to Milwaukee City Hall where voters could cast absentee ballots.

Wisconsin: Recalls: Slow Returns in Waukesha County Upset Democrats | WUWM

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has issued a statement critical of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus for the length of time it has taken to produce election results from Tuesday’s recall. The race between incumbent Republican Senator Alberta Darling and Democratic Representative Sandy Pasch is the only one not yet called.

Nickolaus came under fire earlier this year, when she was late in reporting thousands of votes in the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court and bags of ballots were not secured.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin’s Katherine Harris | Politico.com

It’s down to one race for control of the state Senate in Wisconsin and Democrats are accusing a GOP county clerk of holding up the ballot count. GOP incumbent Alberta Darling is leading Democratic Rep. Sandy Pasch 52 percent to 48 percent with nearly 80 percent reporting.

But before 10 of 11 precincts had reported in Senate District 8’s Waukesha County, Democrats began taking aim at clerk Kathy Nickolaus. Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate took the stage at the Majestic Theater to accuse her of “sitting on ballots.”

“We hope the Waukesha County clerk’s office is doing the right thing tonight . . . But it is a little curious isn’t it. Here we are on the cusp of victory . . . and Kathy Nickolaus is sitting on our ballots,” Tate told the crowd of Democrats to a ripple of boos.

Wisconsin: Jobs group files complaint, says opponents intimidating voters | JSOnline

A jobs group that has been under fire from Republicans filed a complaint Friday with election officials, saying Sen. Alberta Darling’s campaign and others intimidated voters.

Wisconsin Jobs Now has been holding get-out-the-vote “block parties” and busing voters to Milwaukee City Hall for early voting in Darling’s recall election. The state Republican Party and conservative group Media Trackers have filed complaints with the state Government Accountability Board because free food and drawings for prizes were offered at the events. State law bars providing anything of value for voting; Wisconsin Jobs Now argues it complied with the law.

On Friday, Wisconsin Jobs Now filed its own complaint with the accountability board, which oversees the state’s election laws. It alleged Darling’s campaign and the group We’re Watching Wisconsin Elections photographed and recorded voters and the buses for extensive periods.

Wisconsin: Glendale voters head to Milwaukee in recall primary mixup | JSOnline

About 20 Glendale voters tried to cast recall primary ballots Tuesday at Milwaukee City Hall, a Milwaukee election official said.

The mixup apparently was part of the confusion triggered by the North Shore suburb’s decision to consolidate all of its polling places at Glendale City Hall for Tuesday’s Democratic primary. State Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) is facing Gladys Huber, a Republican running as a Democrat, for the right to challenge Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) in the Aug. 9 recall election.

Wisconsin: Democrats Withdraw ‘Placeholder’ Candidates in Recall Election – Whitefish Bay, WI Patch

Democratic “placeholder” candidates will no longer run in this summer’s state Senate recall elections, the Wisconsin Democratic Party announced Friday.

The party said it will not file the final paperwork needed to be put placeholders on ballot in the six recall elections targeting Republican senators, including state Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills).

The idea of using placeholder candidates came after Republicans decided to have “fake Democrats” to run in the Democratic primaries of the six recall elections targeting GOP senators. The move was designed to ensure that primary elections would be held in all six races to give the incumbents more time to prepare for the general election.

Wisconsin: Voter ID Law In Effect for Recall Election — Sort Of | Fox Point-Bayside, WI Patch

Poll workers will be required to ask voters for photo identification during this summer’s state Senate recall elections — but poll workers can’t stop residents from casting their ballots, at least for now.

The Government Accountability Board, the state agency that oversees elections, issued a reminder this week regarding the recently enacted voter ID law. While the requirement that all voters produce a photo ID does not go into effect until the 2012 spring primary, the new law requires that voters be asked for the information beginning with the recall elections.

In 2012, voters who do not have identification on them when they show up at the polls will be given conditional ballots that will be counted only if they can produce identification later.

Wisconsin: Expense of fake Democrats in primaries will top $400,000 | JSOnline

A plan by Republicans to run fake Democratic candidates in this summer’s recall elections would cost taxpayers upward of $428,000, according to election clerks. In one Senate district alone, the cost would top $100,000, interviews with county and municipal clerks show.

Even if Republicans back off their plans in some of the districts, taxpayers are all but guaranteed to have to pay the costs of the primary, because Democrats now plan to run multiple candidates in order to guarantee all the recall elections are held on the same day. Tuesday is the filing deadline.

Recall elections for six Republican senators are scheduled for July 12. But if there are multiple candidates from the same party in any of those elections, the July 12 election becomes a primary, with a general recall election to follow on Aug. 9.

Wisconsin: Who is the ‘Fake Democrat’ in Wisconsin 8th Senate District Recall Race? | Menomonee Falls, WI Patch

Gladys Huber, an 80-year-old Mequon woman who has filed papers to run as a Democrat in the 8th Senate District recall election made an odd comment when reached by a reporter.

“I really have no comment at all,” she said. “I will refer you to the Republican Party of Wisconsin.”

State party officials did not return calls about Huber’s candidacy but they have been upfront about its intention to run Republicans as Democrats in an effort to give incumbent senators like the 8th District’s Alberta Darling more time to raise money and campaign.

The state’s Government Accountability Board said Friday that Huber has officially registered to run as a Democrat against state Rep. Sandy Pasch of Whitefish Bay. If both candidates meet the 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline to file nominating petitions, a primary election would be held July 12 and the winner of that race would take on Darling on Aug. 9.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin Senators Fight Sweeping Recalls | Courthouse News Service

Three Republican state senators have challenged the recall petitions that voters filed against them. And it looks like recall elections of three Democratic senators, if they occur, will come separately, a week after the six Republican recall elections scheduled for July 12.

The three Republicans’ complaints are based on a technicality: that the recall petitioners are not identified as members of the Committees to Recall.

State senators Randy Hopper (Fond du Lac), Luther Olsen (Ripon) and Dan Kapanke (La Crosse) sued the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board in separate but virtually identical complaints in Dane County Court.