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North Hudson Man Files Voter Suppression Complaint Against Americans For Prosperity

When Charles Shultz received an absentee ballot application form with a request to mail it in two days after the Senate District 10 recall election, he thought something was fishy.

When Charles Shultz received an absentee ballot application form in the mail on Thursday, July 28, it didn't take long before he found something fishy with it.

The mailer, sent by conservative advocacy group Americans For Prosperity (AFP) to his North Hudson home, included directions to mail the application to Madison instead of his village clerk. 

"It seems to me like it was an effort by this organization to delay the process or make the process more complicated," Shultz said. "And, of course the date of when it should be returned was wrong."

That set off red flags for Shultz. 

The AFP mailer clearly states that he should return the absentee ballot application by Aug. 11, but the 10th Senate District recall election between challenger Shelly Moore (D) and Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R) takes place on Aug. 9.

On Saturday, after consulting with We Are Wisconsin workers based in Hudson and St. Croix County Clerk Cindy Campbell, Shultz officially filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB).

Shultz wrote the following on the complaint form: 

I received an absentee ballot request form from Americans For Prosperity. It intentionally listed to return up to Aug. 11. The date of the election is Aug. 9. If I followed their instructions, my ballot would not be legal. I think they purposely intended to discount my vote. I understand such activity to be against the law. I believe I was targeted by this group because I am a Democrat and a senior citizen.

"It is interesting to me that I would receive it from the Republican organization, because I'm a Democrat," Shultz said. 

Matt Seaholm, director of the Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity, could not immediately be reached by Hudson Patch for comment. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Seaholm said 'no (mailing) list is perfect,' and he blamed the error on a typo.

"I have no way of knowing what's inside people's intentions, but you would think if there's anything you would proofread, it would be the date that you return it," Shultz said.

Hannah Ledford, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Democratic Party based in Hudson, said "this is voter suppression," and that Harsdorf, not Seaholm, is responsible for putting a stop to it.

"Sheila Harsdorf and her radical special interest friends are trying to lie, cheat, and steal their way to victory in this election because they know that voters are rejecting Senator Harsdorf's radical agenda—an agenda that raises taxes on the middle class and seniors while giving tax breaks to corporations. Senator Harsdorf must immediately put a stop to this cynical scheme to suppress voter participation in these recall elections."

The AFP mailer with the incorrect date was spotted in at least one other district with an Aug. 9 recall election.

The statewide confusion brought on by this mailer, and others, has prompted the GAB to issue a statement about unofficial absentee ballot applications. In the statement, Kevin Kennedy, Wisconsin’s chief election officer, said, “If you need or want to vote absentee, contact your municipal clerk directly and request a ballot."

Harsdorf campaign spokesperson Nathan Duerkop was contacted for this story, but declined to comment.

SAM August 03, 2011 at 07:18 PM
And we may as well name the Stillwater bridge "The Golden Gate." :) The mailing address for the applications is listed as "Absentee Ballot Application Processing Center, P.O. Box 1327, Madison WI 53701-1327." A Google search shows that this address is not any sort of government office, but has been used by the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action. In addition, Wisconsin Right To Life previously used the same address for absentee ballot application letters and phone calls that were sent out shortly before the July 12 Democratic primaries, but after the official deadlines for the applications. The group responded to criticism, saying the phone calls were intended to be for the general elections in August. Aren't these little typos awfullllllll?
Butch August 03, 2011 at 10:49 PM
Isn't using the US mail to perpetrate their fraud a federal offense? Someone should swing for this.
Shannon August 04, 2011 at 12:02 AM
Here's another way right-wingers are trying to cause problems by "observing" polling places and interfering with election officials: http://gab.wi.gov/node/1992
Elisabeth August 04, 2011 at 12:36 AM
was it ok for the guys with the billy clubs to "observe" the polling places for BO? Where was the outrage from the left & the lame st. media?
Elisabeth August 04, 2011 at 12:39 AM
butch, what kind of civility does "someone should swing for this" fall under? Talk about raical groups.
Shannon August 04, 2011 at 01:25 AM
Hey Marcia, as the cowboy living an alternative lifestyle on Brokeback Mountain said, "I just can't quit you." I must say, I have no idea what you are talking about. I can tell you that I will go circus freak crazy with attitude on anyone I see intimidating voters or interfering at my polling place. You don't have a "We're Watching Wisconsin Elections" card, do you?
Elisabeth August 04, 2011 at 02:06 AM
shannon, i'm trying to keep up with your humor...i don't have one of those cards. Are you serious that you didn't hear about those black panther guys? If you didn't, that just proves how it was not reported on at all. Look it up, i'm on phone, can't link it.
Thurston Howell III August 04, 2011 at 02:20 AM
Sam, It seems like voter fraud is quite the wealth building opportunity. Why do you want to stifle the "free-market"? We should be on board with "privatizing' elections, along with schools, the military ( aka mercenaries ) and non-profit producing ventures like NPR and PBS. If you want to invest in these ventures look them up on the NYSE their listing under SCAM.
Shannon August 04, 2011 at 02:43 AM
Marsh, it appears from my brief attempt to Google the incident that Fox News was the only place reporting it, and even the Fox News reporter couldn't confirm that Black Panthers were on the scene intimidating voters. But, while we're talking about corrupt elections, there was that little incident where Bush's brother - the Gov. of Florida had 57,700 people purged from the voter rolls for being convicted felons and, as it turned out, over 90% of the voters on the list were not felons at all. It was an overwhelmingly Democratic list of voters - over half blacks and Hispanics - who were denied their right to vote. I'm sure there will be further chicanery in this election since I see the SD10 race is in a dead heat. Hey Marcia, are you and I having a kind and civil exchange of opinion here?! Can world peace be far behind?
Elisabeth August 04, 2011 at 03:09 AM
world peace would be a great thing, but my faith won't allow me to hope for that. I believe we will never have true peace here on earth.
Shannon August 04, 2011 at 03:16 AM
Well, your last post had four positive words: peace, faith, hope and true; and only one negative word: never. I think you're moving in the right direction Marcia.
John Feia August 04, 2011 at 03:16 AM
This is just amazing. While there may be legal recourse that is available to pursue here I would suggest finding people who didn't vote in the "Primary" Election and getting them to the polls next Tuesday. I am personally bringing 4 people to vote for Shelly on Tuesday that didn't vote in the primary. This is how we can make such despicable actions ineffective.
Thurston Howell III August 04, 2011 at 03:21 AM
Marsha, This world may never be a utopia, but here's some advice from someone you may admire: http://youtu.be/6j4ntLTp3fQ
patt colten August 04, 2011 at 03:40 AM
I like the pack up your car with folks that might not get to the poll without a little help idea. I also think it would be a great Idea to have folks on all the main streets in town with signs on the 9th reminding people that TODAY IS VOTING DAY!
Hudsoner August 09, 2011 at 07:39 PM
And the lying continues! A person my wife knows just told her that they received a call from somebody acting like a pollster. At the end of the interview she told the interviewee that his voting location would be in Dunn county, because Dems vote in different locations than Reps. If he would vote for Reps, he has to vote in Hudson. After questioning who this calling person was, she hang up without answering!
The Big T September 12, 2011 at 08:31 PM
If you can't figure it out on your own, maybe you shouldn't even be voting.............
Thurston Howell III September 12, 2011 at 08:43 PM
OH Big T, So that justifies this kind of deception? If they can figure it out, they don't need fake pollsters calling!
Thurston Howell III September 12, 2011 at 08:45 PM
I'm certain tactics like this are taught at Americans For Prosperity Conferences across the land. The question is, whose properity? Certainly not middle-class working American Dupes who suck this stuff up!
The Big T September 12, 2011 at 09:00 PM
I am not defending anything or anyone. I just made a simple comment. You don't need to put words in my mouth or elsewhere!
Thurston Howell III September 12, 2011 at 09:04 PM
Ever hear of implicit remarks?
Mary Harris September 13, 2011 at 02:47 AM
The reason why have the Republican Party so that people who can't it out have someone to vote for.
Mary Harris September 13, 2011 at 02:57 AM
More liberal whining. When are the Democrats going to get their stuff together again? For the past decade I've listened to the Dems whine about Bush stole the election from Gore by winning Florida. Gee, I thought is was the Dems who used to be good at stealing presidential elections ala Mayor Daly and JFK's election. Besides, Gore could not even win his home state of Tennessee. At least Mondale could lose 49 states and win his home state of Minnesota. I'm with Big TEA on this one. If people are too ignorant to know where to vote and when to vote, I don't want them voting for candidates in the party I support. Besides, there were so many calls coming in from outside the district, the people doing the calling probably thought the was only one voting booth for the sparsely populated hinterlands of western Wisconsin.
Micheal Foley September 13, 2011 at 03:09 AM
Let's keep it clean and respectful in here, folks.
Thurston Howell III September 13, 2011 at 03:30 AM
Wow!,Mary Harris. You are calling liberals ignorant when you post a "sentence" like this: From email."The reason why have the Republican Party so that people who can't it out have someone to vote for." Somebody please translate this into my native tongue, English.
Prof Quincy A. Wagstaff September 13, 2011 at 03:46 AM
What's the matter THIII don't you speak teapottyese? I've seen their big bus and their misspelled signs. English as a Second Language, indeed!
Thurston Howell III September 13, 2011 at 12:28 PM
Oh Heavens.........I think I forgot to dial '1" for English? Like the Tea Party Express singers suggested.
Mary Harris September 13, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Let me restate my comment from above: The reason why we have the Republican Party is so that people who can't figure it out have someone to vote for. Perhaps the original statement can be attributed to some occassional gliches I experience with Patch comments and less to ignorance. But from following your comments littering the Patch, anyone not slurping the same liberal pabblum as you must be hopelessly ignorant. Obviously, if you are of the Hindu religious persaution, this is the end of the road for you, as you have obviously achieved perfection.
Prof Quincy A. Wagstaff September 13, 2011 at 04:29 PM
"The reason why we have the Republican Party is so that 'people who can't figure it out' have someone to vote for." The reason we have the Republican Party is so that 'stupid people' have someone to vote for. Is there any other way to parse Mary's sentence? If not, I have to agree.
William Welbes September 13, 2011 at 05:27 PM
Perhaps the tea party should be renamed to either the american taliban or the party of the dazed and confused. The party mantra seems to be, talk alot about patriotism while evading taxes and doing nothing. I found it interesting that during this last summer election two of the candidates had to pay back taxes in order to get thier name on the ballot. That alone says a lot about tea party values.
Prof Quincy A. Wagstaff September 13, 2011 at 07:51 PM
They are nothing more than the extreme right wing of the Republican party. I suggest calling them the Teapublicans.

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