Following the 2008 presidential election, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen crusaded long and hard, searching for the voter fraud he was absolutely, positively certain had occurred throughout Wisconsin that year. He spent over eighteen months, in fact, talking about "widespread voter fraud" and working desperately to find some. Even before the November 2008 election, he formed his Elections Integrity Task Force (sometimes referred to as the Election Fraud Task Force) in September 2008 to examine the voter registration fraud he was convinced was rampant in Wisconsin.
Van Hollen even brought his own lawsuit against the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board over new voter registration that was occurring in 2008, particularly in Milwaukee. On September 10, 2008, Van Hollen sued the GAB because it refused to run crossmatches between new voter registration addresses and those addresses found in the old Wisconsin voting databases. Van Hollen claimed that the GAB's refusal to run such crossmatches violated the 2002 Help America Vote Act, and wanted all voters with addresses NOT found in the old database to be given only provisional ballots at the polls.
In turn, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board refused to do Van Hollen's bidding, claiming (correctly, as it turned out) that in fact Van Hollen's interpretation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was wrong. The GAB noted that Van Hollen's idea would, in fact, disenfranchise voters and cause excessive confusion at the polls. The courts ruled against Van Hollen, noting that his proposal was actually prohibited by the HAVA. In a fun twist, the judge presiding over that case was none other than Judge Maryann Sumi, who is now presiding over the Dane County DA's suit against Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature regarding possible violation of the open meeting rules in Wisconsin. In 2008, Judge Sumi dismissed all of Van Hollen's claims.
In October 2008 Van Hollen picked up a little steam when he charged one Milwaukee woman with voter registration fraud. This woman had submitted approximately 27 falsified registration forms, apparently in order to meet her employer's daily quota for new voter registrations. However, rather than boost Van Hollen's claims of "widespread" fraud, it was noted that the woman's employer had actually reported the problem to the Election Intergrity Task Force before it had even been discovered by the Task Force itself.
Van Hollen doggedly persisted in his crusade, however, and by August of 2010, almost two years after the formation of the pet Task Force he had charged with finding the massive voter fraud being perpetrated throughout Wisconsin, Van Hollen had documented eleven instances of potentially improperly cast votes in the November 2008 election. That bears repeating. Out of the 2,965,563 votes cast in November 2008 in Wisconsin, Van Hollen had found 11 that were potentially improper. His extensive, expensive, taxpayer-funded witch hunt had found that 0.004% of the Wisconsin votes were suspect. Most of those votes (8 of the 11) were cast by ineligible felons. And while Van Hollen also found and charged six people (yes, 6 whole people) with falsifying registration papers, he found no evidence that votes were cast improperly based on those false registrations.
So I must now ask myself, given J.B. Van Hollen's dogged pursuit of "justice" for Wisconsin's voters, where the hell is he right now? Van Hollen has not publicly commented once on the current voter fiasco in Waukesha County. Last week, almost 48 hours after the results of the Supreme Court Justice election were posted, giving challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg a very narrow margin over sitting Justice Prosser, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus "found" an additional 14,315 votes on her personal computer and added them to the total, giving Prosser a win.
Where is Van Hollen's own Wisconsin Elections Integrity Task Force, the one he formed expressly for the purpose of investigating voter fraud? The "discovery" of thousands of votes on a Clerk's personal computer, one not linked to the main voter database, and therefore not verifiable, should have the champion of election integrity up in arms, demanding a complete investigation and a hold on the election results until that investigation is completed. The fact that the Clerk is a former employee of Justice Prosser makes it even more imperative to investigate thoroughly.
And yet, J.B. Van Hollen remains silent and inactive. After his multiyear, expensive investigation revolving around a Democratic President's election, failing to prove that widespread voter fraud had occurred no matter how hard he tried, his silence around this election shows exactly what he cares about. Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen does not care about voter fraud, election integrity, the law, or fairness. He cares about Republicans. He may have been elected in 2006, but he is a pawn of Scott Walker and apparently will perform the duties of his job only as they benefit Walker and other Republicans.
If Van Hollen does not initiate an investigation into the matter, I say we recall him as well. On, Wisconsin!