Assistant attorneys general will be joining the army of election observers expected to show up at the polls across Wisconsin on Tuesday. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says prosecutors from his staff will be doing spot checks in several cities to prevent both voter fraud, and voter intimidation.
This is the third presidential election in a row that the AG's office has sent out teams of poll watchers. Van Hollen says the goal is to help poll workers ensure a free and fair election. He says the teams will be ready to call in law enforcement if people are campaigning too close to a polling station or provide legal advice to poll workers who ask for it on a wide range of voting regulations. Van Hollen also says they will be ready to get court rulings at a moments notice if they're needed.
"If we believe that, or somebody believes that something inappropriately is happening at a polling place and we need to get a court to rule on it such as staying open too late or not staying open late enough or not cutting off the line or things along those line we're close to the courts in those jurisdictions to actually go in and try to get injunctive relief," he says.
Van Hollen says he received a letter from the Obama campaign complaining about a republican raining manual for poll watchers that included erroneous information. but he says so far he's no hard evidence to support the allegation. And he's convinced that voter fraud is a problem that only a Voter ID law could fix.
"I believe that based upon the 20 or somewhere in that ballpark voter fraud cases I have prosecuted since I became attorney general," he says. "The biggest problem we have without voter- id is proving voter fraud exists."
Because the state's new voter ID law is still tied up in the courts enforcing it is not something the AG's team of observers will be worrying about on Tuesday.