GESVAIN: Recount observers needed EVERYDAY 8am-8pm -- all districts

May 1, 2011
Karen Geszvain

(Editor's Note: Wisconsin Wave does not endorse or support any campaign or campaign committee. The following posting was written by a recount volunteer for the Kloppenburg campaign. We are posting this for its information/news content only.

Note that the only citizen recount monitors who are allowed to stand behind the official recount tabulators --and therefore the only citizen recount monitors who actually see the markings on the ballots-- are those monitors designated by one of the campaigns as a representative of their campaign.

We citizens monitoring the recount as nonpartisans must sit in a gallery that is cordoned off from the tables where the ballots are being counted. We are not able to see the markings on the ballots, We are there to watch the proceedings to document how questioned ballots are dealt with.)


The posting below is from a friend of mine who has been helping with the WI Supreme Court recount. Passing this on with her permission (sorry for the delay!).

To help monitor the recount, just show up at the Dane County recount site (City County Building, 310 MLK Blvd, Room 354. Enter on Wilson St when building is closed.) any time today or future days from 8am to 8pm, or call the Kloppenburg campaign at 608/218-1203 to make arrangements for possible other places to help.
Additionally, my same friend e-mailed me this this morning: "The lead Kloppenburg person said some mornings it has been only herself representing Kloppenburg from 8am until 11am or so, while Prosser has one observer for every poll worker. Prosser's people are also paid and they have at least one or more lawyers present. We didn't have a lawyer today and could have used one."
The Kloppenburg campaign needs volunteers! I'll be there today.
karen geszvain  
----- Original Message -----
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2011 11:52 PM
Subject: Urgent!!! Recount observers needed EVERYDAY 8am-8pm -- all districts perhaps

I was at Dane County's recount today as a Kloppenburg observer. There were not nearly enough of us!!! I'm guessing all counties are underrepresented if Dane County is. Please volunteer! Just call the Kloppenburg campaign and tell them your availability or just go SHOW UP. Don't wait for Kloppenburg's campaign to contact you! They're so understaffed and unorganized that may never happen.

There was need for 11 people today and we had 5. For each election official counting or tabulating, we need a Kloppenburg observer counting along to be sure all is correct and to object to problems. If we don't watch and object, issues go unnoticed and there were plenty of things to be concerned about today. This recount also functions as a check up to show us which voting places have problems so we can be prepared for Walker's recount and know how to prevent issues and where to check closely.

Kloppenburg has handouts of rules and such to look over, but there's no time for that if you don't have it already and can go Sunday. Just show up tomorrow.

Here's the basics:

    •    Poll workers do all the work. You will choose or be assigned to watch one of the poll workers. If they are counting ballots, then you count too and make sure their count is accurate. If they are sorting ballots into piles of Kloppenburg and Prosser, you are watching to be sure no Kloppenburg ballots get into the Prosser pile. If they are adding numbers, you add too and be sure their numbers are accurate. If they are counting how many people are listed in the pollbooks as someone who voted, you are also counting to be sure their counts are accurately portrayed. You are also watching to be sure all ballots and election materials are handled carefully and that nothing is amiss. When they open new bags of ballots, you are alert and paying attention to what's going on and to what irregularities arise. Make notes of any issues in the notebook you brought in. You start out just watching someone count and then become familiar with all of it the longer you're there.

    •    You are not allowed to touch ballots or any of the election materials.

    •    You are not allowed to ask questions or object to anything. If you see a problem, alert the lead Kloppenburg person. That is the only person who is allowed to object or speak to the poll workers.

Here's what you do:
    •    Go to the City County Building, 310 MLK Blvd, Room 354. Enter on Wilson St when building is closed.  (Other counties need help too, I'm sure!)
    •    Sign in as a Kloppenburg observer when you enter the room and ask who is in charge of the Kloppenburg side.
    •    There is a place to leave backpacks, purses, coats, etc. in the same room but you can't have these in the area where the recounting is going on.
    •    Bring a clipboard, notebook, and pen that is NOT blue or black ink. No pencils.
    •    It's helpful to have a calculator and camera (to take pix of problems). No video allowed, but having a video function on your camera is fine.
    •    Approach the lead Kloppenburg person and ask where they want you to be.

There were plenty causes for concern today. We need observers there to discover these and object to them and to note them on paper in order to report them to the Kloppenburg campaign. Many patterns emerged today. 

Three of the seven townships I observed today had zeroxed extra ballots which were used for voting because they said they had run out of ballots. In every instance, the ratio of Prosser votes to Kloppenburg votes was far higher than in their township totals. There is no integrity for zeroxed ballots. It appears to be a possible technique for adding an additional 10-20 votes for Prosser in hundreds of townships across the state.

I also learned that all the Dane County (and statewide, I believe) poll workers and clerks (mostly women) all know each other due to county or statewide conferences, trainings, etc. They seem to take all errors as personal insults and attacks to their self-worth as though their personhood/integrity was attacked even if the error is obviously void of possible mal-intent. They are all nervously afraid of any anomaly showing up in their district and therefore share the pain when any other clerk has made any error. This makes them an extremely supportive group for each other. This close-knit community of poll workers and clerks across the county and state is nice to see, but it nurtures an ideal environment for the sharing of "techniques," which is disturbing.

Recount hours: 8am - 8pm everyday including weekends until it's done. Contact the campaign to volunteer:
    • -- click on "volunteer for the recount" -- red button on the right
    •    Office: 608/218-1203