Less than a day before Badger State voters decide whether to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker, polls show a tight race and “only a tiny fraction of Wisconsin voters are undecided,” the outcome Tuesday likely will hinge on which side does a better job of turning out its supporters.
“This is a base election — and whoever turns out their base will win on Tuesday. Simply put, it’s all about Getting Out The Vote,” says Kristina Powell, finance director at Democracy for America (DFA), a prominent progressive advocacy organization which boasts that its members “are already knocking on 10,000 doors a day in Wisconsin” to get recall supporters to show up and vote.
The election to drive Walker from office clearly is going to be tight.
But what if DFA and other Walker opponents succeed in getting their side to the polls in sufficient numbers — only to find recall their supporters aren’t allowed to vote, or their votes are prevented from being counted?
It’s a problem virtually no one appears to be talking about, even though a conservative-leaning group “focused on preserving election integrity” promises to be intricately involved in the Walker recall election.
The group, True The Vote, says it is mobilizing its supporters to get involved in the election process in Wisconsin.
Although it purports to be a “national nonpartisan, nonprofit grassroots organization,” it’s not hard to see where True The Vote’s allegiances lie. On its website, it refers to Walker as “embattled” — and hangs onto the allegation that thew petitions for Walker’s recall contained “thousands of phony names, inaccurate addresses, convicted felons, and even a signature from Donald Duck (who claims to live at a Starbucks near the Capitol in Madison)” — even though Wisconsin election officials found just five fake names were found out of the more than 930,000 submitted.
Moreover, the organization prominently touts the support of Texas governor, and one-time GOP presidential contender, Rick Perry.
Come Tuesday, True The Vote vows “to man each and every voting location with a trained poll watcher to ensure the integrity of the election.”
The organization claims to have trained hundreds — “maybe thousands” — of volunteers to serve as these poll watchers.
In a statement released Monday, True The Vote doesn’t specify just what actions these poll watchers may take.
But under Walker and state GOP legislators, Wisconsin is one of a number of states to have enacted restrictive voter ID laws, which make it harder for many voters — particularly minority and younger voters who skew Democratic — from being able to actually cast their votes.
True The Vote’s poll watchers could be at hand to make sure this voter ID law is strictly enforced, or to pressure election workers from allowing votes to be counted from whomever these volunteers consider suspect.
In such a close election as the Wisconsin recall appears to be, the outcome could turn on a small number of votes — which makes the planned actions of True The Vote all-the-more significant.