Romney Campaign Misleading Poll Watchers

This sort of thing is becoming epidemic. ThinkProgress reports that the Romney campaign has been training poll watchers — people whose job is to challenge the eligibility of voters and muck things up at polling places so it takes longer to vote and people will be forced to leave — and has been giving them false information about the legal requirements for voting. For example:

One blatant falsehood occurs on page 5 of the training packet, which informed poll watchers that any “person [who] has been convicted of treason, a felony, or bribery” isn’t eligible to vote. This is not true. Once a Wisconsin voter who has been convicted of a felony completes his or her sentence, that person is once again eligible to vote.

The training also encouraged volunteers to deceive election workers and the public about who they were associated with. On page 3 of the packet, Romney poll workers were instructed to hide their affiliation with the campaign and told to sign in at the polls as a “concerned citizen” instead. As Kristina Sesek, Romney’s legal counsel who just graduated from Marquette Law School last year, explained, “We’re going to have you sign in this election cycle as a ‘concerned citizen.’ We’re just trying to alleviate some of the animosity of being a Republican observer up front.”

They’ve also misled on what forms of identification can be used:

CLAIM: Page 8 lists 10 items as “The ONLY Acceptable Forms of “Proof of Residency”.

FACT: The list used is incomplete. There are many other documents people can use to prove residency that are not included, such as letters from public schools, student loan papers, correspondence with a Native American tribe in Wisconsin, vehicle registration, and food stamp correspondances. In addition, the list fails to mention that homeless voters may use an affidavit from a public or private social service agency as proof of residency.

It’s not a coincidence that they only bother to send such poll watchers to predominately Democratic districts.

Update: Wisconsin election officials are aware of this misleading information and are contacting the Romney campaign:

“Our plan is to contact the Romney campaign and tell them there are issues” with the material, said Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, which supervises elections in the state and enforces state election laws.

Magney said some of the training material — obtained by the liberal Democratic blog Think Progress and posted on its website on Wednesday is either incomplete or misleading. The directive to observers, not to mention their connections to the Romney campaign, also conflicts with official Wisconsin Government Accountability Board guidance to all poll observers, publicly posted on the agency’s website, instructing that they sign in and identify “the name of the organization or candidate the observer represents,” he said.

“We stand by our training materials, but we are always happy to answer any questions that the Government Accountability Board may have,” Ryan Williams, a spokesman for the Romney campaign, said in an email to NBC News.

Liars.

15 comments on this post.
  1. uncephalized:

    It seems at every level of his campaign, just as apparently in his personal life, Romney is a lying sack of shit. How can anyone think he deserves to be President at this point? I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

  2. sivivolk:

    Shouldn’t they be prosecuting people?

    I mean, given that elections basically determine the basis of American civil society, and given how big a deal Democracy is in the States, you’d think that trying to subvert elections by spreading false information about them, or by harassing people at polls, etc, would be criminal offenses.

  3. Gregory in Seattle:

    The Romeny campaign is a bunch of liars attempting to commit fraud to steal the election. Not exactly news any more.

  4. Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant):

    Because nothing says “integrity” like “hide your affiliation”.

  5. usingreason:

    “The Romeny campaign Republican Party is a bunch of liars attempting to commit fraud to steal the election. Not exactly news any more.”

    When every Republican Governor out there is attempting to stack the voter ID requirements against demographics that are traditionally Democrats, and then publicly admitting it, I think you can expand the group out beyond the Romney campaign.

  6. NitricAcid:

    Some law enforcement agencies need to send plain-clothes agents in to try to vote while looking Democratic. And arrest the bastards that try to stop them.

  7. Jordan Genso:

    I get the impression that the Republican Party is trying to take advantage of their supporters’ desires to be “deputized”, where they get to become amateur police officers enforcing election laws. The appeal to become a person of authority, deciding who can and can not vote, may be something that some conservatives jump at if given the opportunity.

    But if the party plays on their desire to be Judge Dredd (in that they can try to proclaim “I am the law” rather than knowing what the actual law is), it could wreck havoc at the voting locations. The Republican Party possibly sees that as the purpose, rather than a flaw.

    I’ve been a poll challenger the past couple of elections, but I am there to try and protect the voters’ rights. Many clerks and poll workers are misinformed of the law (such as the new citizenship box on the ballot application form), that being an informed poll challenger can help ensure no legitimate voter is turned away.

  8. flex:

    At this point I would have chosen “endemic” rather than “epidemic”.

  9. Nick Gotts (formerly KG):

    you’d think that trying to subvert elections by spreading false information about them, or by harassing people at polls, etc, would be criminal offenses. – sivifolk

    But FREEZE PEACH!!!11!eleventy!

  10. Modusoperandi:

    I was in Bizarro World, watching Bizarro FoxNews and they’re basically 24/7 with this New White Panthers controversy.

  11. Michael Heath:

    usingreason:

    When every Republican Governor out there is attempting to stack the voter ID requirements against demographics that are traditionally Democrats, and then publicly admitting it, I think you can expand the group out beyond the Romney campaign

    Cite requested for Michigan’s Republican governor Rick Snyder.

  12. robertfaber:

    I have to concur with Michael Heath. Governor Snyder vetoed the state GOP’s voter suppression bill TWICE. He’s also proposing raising taxes on gasoline in order to fix our terrible roads (which is why the Maroun family put proposal 5 on the ballot). You also never hear him talk about issues that are meat and potatoes for the theocrats.

    Snyder almost (almost) seems a throwback to republicans of the 1970s. While I wouldn’t vote for him (and didn’t), at least he’s what I would consider viable opposition, and that’s good for this state.

  13. sailor1031:

    Not just the Romney campaign – it’s republican SOP.

  14. Chris from Europe:

    @robertfaber
    He apparently had no problem signing anti-LGBT legislation.

    And the Romney campaign should get a fair punishment: Romney should be disqualified in Wisconsin.

  15. Voter Fraud, Voter Intimidation, and the Conservative Sliminess « Defending Reality:

    [...] we find out that the Romney campaign has been training their poll watchers with false information that serves to stop certain people (read: suspected Democrats) from voting. One blatant falsehood [...]

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