Self-government requires vigilance, but you already know that, right?
Do you believe that there are people who would, if they could, mess with Wisconsin’s elections in a way that allowed them to select our next US Senator or decide who gets our electoral votes in the next Presidential election? Of course you do. Ever since humans invented elections, some people have wanted to manipulate the results. So yes, eternal vigilance is the price of democracy.
Next question: Do you believe that the computers that read our ballots and count our votes are programmed by humans–specifically, the humans who work for distant voting-machines companies and humans would work for local governments? Of course you do.
Next: Do you believe that any of the humans in the second group might someday join the first? Yes, you realize that’s a possibility–good. So you’re still on board with this vigilance idea.
Okay, now: Do you know who is in a position to make sure no corrupt insider ever selects Wisconsin’s US Senator or electoral college votes by messing with the computers? You think it might be Wisconsin’s local election officials? Well, okay, then: Do you know how they plan do to that in the next election?
Do you know, for example, who would detect and correct the miscount if a bribed insider was ever to use their access and skills to misprogram precinct-level voting machines in a few of Wisconsin’s largest counties to misread ballots on Election Day (but not before) to give their candidate a statewide victory, without altering the number of ballots cast or which candidate carried any individual county?
You don’t know the details, but you trust that the companies’ and local clerks’ security practices are infallible enough to prevent that? Oops! Did you notice that switch from vigilance to reliance on trust?
What are we going to do about that?
Wisconsin Election Integrity was a group of volunteer citizens, formed in the Summer of 2012 and active until 2020, that was committed to protecting all aspects of Wisconsin’s elections to ensure that elections reflect the will of the people.
Strictly nonpartisan, the group was interested in every aspect of our right to self-government through elections. However, with so very much attention being paid to the more visible parts of the process (e.g., redistricting and the various methods of submitting votes), WEI’s attention was drawn to the neglected area: counting the votes and certifying the correct winners.
The weakest link in Wisconsin’s election-administration practices is the use and management of election technology. Voters and the media trust the clerks; the clerks trust the voting-machine companies, and … well, there you have it. Any sneaky bad guys seeking to mess with Wisconsin’s election results know where to focus their efforts. The question for anyone reading this is:
In the past, we have organized observations of pre-election voting machine tests; county canvass meetings; and post-election audits; and have performed public, transparent verification of the voting machine output in Dane County after five elections. In 2017, when it became apparent that the Racine County Canvass had twice certified incorrect results in the 2016 presidential race–once right after the election and then again in the recount–we organized a citizens’ hand-counted audit to determine the extent of the problem and call attention to the unreliable county canvass procedures (which were typical of those used in other counties.)
If you would like to be notified of future events, to help out with them, or to organize a presentation or similar events in your county, please email us at info@WisconsinElectionIntegrity.org, or follow us on Facebook.
Until late 2017, we funded our own activities exclusively with our personal funds and received logistical support, such as help with this website and publicity, from the Wisconsin Grassroots Network. We are not yet incorporated nor do we have any tax status. We have twice raised funds for special projects through GoFundMe.
The Action Team is strictly nonpartisan.
Election Integrity Action aspires to make every effort to work with, not against, elections officials for as long as we can while still pursuing our mission. We have no interest in embarrassing elections officials, and have genuine respect and gratitude for the hard work they do with minimal resources. When we see problems, we look for systemic causes and solutions first, and believe that suspicions of fraud and corruption are almost always best put on hold until all other causes have been ruled out. We try always to present constructive, realistic suggestions and proposals whenever we point out shortcomings or problems. We take care to share only reliably accurate information when we can, and if we see value in sharing any less-than-verifiable information, we will be clear about the nature of the information.