From the Howie Hawkins/Angela Walker 2020 campaign:
Well, we finally made the mainstream media, but while 2016 was all about slandering Stein/Baraka as Russian assets, this year it's that Howie and Angela are tools of the Republican Party that are denying people in Wisconsin their absentee ballots.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The Green Party's track record as being the party of election integrity is clear. We are the ones regularly pressing for integrity from elections authorities around the country. We are the ones pushing to replace bad voting machines with auditable paper ballots and ending voter suppression via racist voter ID laws and party suppression.
The simple solution in Wisconsin is for the Democrats to immediately stop playing games and using delaying tactics to prevent voters from being able to support third-party candidates, get new ballots printed that include Howie and Angela as a choice, and send them out. Both major parties collude to boost their own electoral chances in a myriad of ways and deny voters' and candidates' major rights.
So what exactly is happening in Wisconsin? Here's a quick run-down:
- When we realized that Angela Walker's change of address could become an issue, we took it upon ourselves to inform the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
- After three different sets of instructions over three days, the commission staff finally instructed us to include a notarized statement of candidacy with Angela's new address when we filed the petitions...which we completed to the letter.
- The state law only accepts a maximum of 4,000 signatures to be submitted for a minimum of 2,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot. We actually collected nearly 6,000. The staff of the Board of Elections found that more than 3,000 of the signatures were valid.
- A challenge was filed against our petitions, claiming that the change of address invalidated many of them, which conveniently brought us to below 2,000 signatures.
- None of the signatures were actually ruled invalid.
- We were summoned to a hearing with the Elections Commission, during which we were restricted from offering testimony that pointed out the breakdown in process from the commission staff. Our rights of due process were severely restricted by the chair of the commission, a Democrat appointee.
- The attorney representing the Democratic challenger huddled with the chair of the commission before the hearing to agree on how to restrict our testimony.
- The commission ended up being deadlocked on the validity of the signatures, which means that they are presumed to be valid.
- The commission did uphold the challenge to Angela's address.
- Because of these irregularities, we decided to sue. Because of the time constraints before absentee ballots were to be printed, we sued in the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
- It took time to find an attorney that would represent us, and every Democrat-aligned attorney we contacted ignored us.
- The Court ordered the Wisconsin Elections Commission to provide a list of everyone who has requested an absentee ballot, as well as a list of everyone who has actually received one. That list was due last Tuesday at 5 pm CDT.
- As of our last information, the Elections Commission was not able to provide those lists to the Court. They reported in the media that they were only able to find out information about some of the counties.
- Yesterday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that NO county has actually mailed out an absentee ballot.
The Democrats are telling the media that they've mailed out thousands of ballots, when really county elections officials printed mailing labels and count these as "sent." This is pure spin and a departure from the truth. They are waging a media battle against us to cover up their own failure to respect the democratic process and to ensure that accurate data was available on demand.
How can we trust that our elections will be fair, when the process is used as a soccer ball between the two ruling parties?
The delay is actually coming from the Democrats, not this campaign or the Green Party. If they would have allowed us to offer a proper testimony in the hearing, they would have been compelled to deny the challenge. If they would have accurate information on county elections data at their fingertips as they should have, there would be no delay.
Further, we have never had any conversations with the state GOP. They are not directing our legal actions. We are compelled by the wishes of nearly 6,000 Wisconsinites who want to see the Green Party on the ballot.
We will not back down from our position that Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker should be placed on the ballot without further delay. Our signatures are solid, the paperwork is in order, and in the interest of serving democracy, the Democrats should abandon the spin and misinformation and step aside so that absentee ballots can be sent out.
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