Van Hollen Must Drop Appeal of Lawsuit Now that GAB will Conduct Voter Checks

Nov 10, 2008

Attorney General Wasting More Taxpayer Resources,
Even as State Faces Record Deficit

MADISON – Attorney General JB Van Hollen must drop his plans to appeal the politically-motivated lawsuit he lost against the Government Accountability Board now that the GAB has announced its own plans to perform cross-checks on voter registration lists dating back to 2006.

“The Attorney General needs to drop his appeal immediately and stop wasting more and more taxpayer resources on his baseless, politically-motivated lawsuit,” said Joe Wineke, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair. “The state is facing a record deficit and taxpayers can’t afford to waste more money on Van Hollen’s pet lawsuit, which is now redundantly seeking the same voter checks that the GAB already plans to conduct.”

Yesterday, the GAB voted to move ahead with requiring the voter cross-checks retroactive to 2006. The DPW, as Party to the Attorney General’s lawsuit, has said all along that the GAB has the discretion to decide how and when these checks should be conducted, not the Attorney General.

Van Hollen has said he will continue his lawsuit until the GAB performs the checks, which will not likely be completed before mid-2009.

“The GAB’s decision does not validate Van Hollen’s lawsuit but instead proves that his hyper-partisan attacks on the non-partisan GAB were unfounded,” said Wineke. “Van Hollen was wrong when he sued the GAB to force these checks weeks before the election in a politically-motivated attempt to create chaos for clerks and unfairly penalize voters for clerical errors.”  

Last month, Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi dismissed Van Hollen’s lawsuit, saying he did not have the authority to bring the suit. Judge Sumi said nothing in state or federal law requires a data match for the right to vote. Furthermore, innocent mistakes and typos cannot be exploited as a way to blockade one of the fundamental rights of our democracy – our right to vote.

As state chair of the McCain Campaign, Van Hollen abused his authority as Attorney General and misused his taxpayer funded office for partisan purposes to disenfranchise voters and sway the election in favor of his candidate. 

Wisconsin voters have spoken loud and clear, and it is time for Van Hollen to listen and abandon his baseless lawsuit.