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Opened Ballot Bags Raise More Questions in Recount

Campaign officials for Van Wanggaard call for an investigation into why nine bags containing ballots were opened and then put in other bags.

Officials with Republican Van Wanggaard’s campaign Thursday questioned why a number of bags containing ballots from the City of Racine were opened and then "double-bagged," or placed in a second bag.

Under Wisconsin's election procedures, after the polls close, election workers  remove the voted ballots and place them into a secured container or bag. The bag is secured using a tamper-evident numbered seal, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

Ballot bags are supposed to have all potential openings secured in such a manner that no ballot may be removed, nor any ballot added, without visible interference or damage to that ballot container.

But Racine County Clerk Wendy Christiansen said that bags in nine of the 36 polling places in Racine in the June 5 recall election were found double-bagged.

Several chief polling inspectors, who were responsible for sealing those bags, were questioned by Wanggaard campaign officials as part of the recount process now under way at the Racine County Courthouse.

Officials with Wanggaard's campaign asked Celeste Walker, who was the chief polling inspector at the King Center, why the initial bag hadn't been sealed. Walker explained that she did the taping and sealing process improperly the night of the election and it wouldn't seal.

"I have done it properly in prior elections," she said. "This time my training failed me. I will ask for a personal demonstration in the next election so as not to cause the city clerk any undue distress."

Justin Phillips, Wanggaard's campaign manager, said there are still a number of polling inspectors who need to interviewed. He said the campaign has not filed a formal challenge.

"We're still trying to understand what happened," he said.

. Wanggaard asked for a recount on June 15, and the process started on June 20. Lehman leads Wanggaard by 814 votes. As of Wednesday, Wanggaard had picked up about 20 votes in the recount.

According to state statute, the recount must complete within 10 days, but because the 10th day for this recount lands on a Sunday, Christensen has until Monday to finish. An extension can only be granted after petitioning the circuit court

Zigmond July 02, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Pretty cut and dried, she was a poll inspector in a district other than her own. GAB rules say NO to that. Penalty for breaking ther law,???? In fact, today is her birthday look her up on the GAB site yourself 60yrs old today.
dee50 July 02, 2012 at 04:55 PM
@Hoffa, You stated to: "@morninmist - Apparently, you're so drunk on defeat that you can't even make coherent sense in your postings anymore!" Do you frequently try to demeanor other people's comments like the one above. Is this your way of trying to intimidate others if you don't agree with them? You knew exactly what morninmist meant and if you didn't how the heck could you respond to her comments. As I have said before your name here on patch "James Hoffa" is a perfect match for you!
James R Hoffa July 02, 2012 at 05:08 PM
@dee50 - misty and Hoffa have a history of conduct towards one another here on the Patch. Think of it as being more playful than hostile. As a liberal, I know that this advice will be hard for you to tomach, but you may want to stop assuming that you know everything, as you know what they say about assumptions...
dee50 July 02, 2012 at 05:09 PM
@jukap29 You say : "Exit polls are worth about as much as throwing a dart blindfolded -very much a shot in the dark" Actually exit polls are VERY accurate prior to voting machines....Hoe can anybody forget Gore vs Bush! http://freepress.org/columns/display/3/2012/1936 http://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/tag/exit-poll-data/
jukap29 July 02, 2012 at 05:51 PM
yeh, except for the fact that many people refuse to say who they vote for because they have integrity and wish for the votes to remain anonymous - the ones who report to exit polls are usually the narcissistic, histrionically-motivated "I want my opinion to be known cuz i am soooo proud of myself" people... generally the non-wonks want to be left alone and it's them and the overly self righteous who let you know what their opinion was. Did you ever read Animal farm? if so then think of it like this - People who report their votes to an exit pollster are the equivalent of the horse Molly in my opinion.

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