By Collin Roth
With the canvass now completed in Racine County, Republican State Senator Van Wanggaard trails Democrat John Lehman by 824 votes in the hotly contested recall election in Senate District 21. The somewhat surprising result could afford Democrats their lone victory in this most recent recall season in Wisconsin, effectively flipping the majority in the Senate to a 17-16 Democrat majority.
But, Senator Wanggaard has yet to concede the race and there is serious talk of a recount.
But what actually happened in Senate District 21?
In a nutshell, Governor Walker outperformed Senator Van Wanggaard in 86% of Senate District 21’s wards and polling locations while John Lehman outperformed Tom Barrett in 82% of those same wards and polling locations. In the City of Racine, John Lehman earned 181 more votes than Tom Barrett and outperformed Barrett in 26/36 Racine wards. Similarly, Governor Scott Walker outperformed Senator Wanggaard in 29/36 Racine wards and earned 322 more votes than the incumbent state senator.
Outside of the city of Racine, the same thing occurred. Lehman outperformed Tom Barrett in 24/25 wards and polling locations earning 331 more votes than Barrett. Walker outperformed Wanggaard in 24/25 wards and polling locations and earned 707 more votes than Wanggaard.
The dichotomy in Senate District 21 is certainly interesting to note. Approximately 1,029 voters cast ballots for Governor Scott Walker and not Senator Van Wanggaard. And John Lehman earned 512 more votes than Tom Barrett. The latter result is of course most surprising.
But in the wake of the Senate District 21 recall election, questions about electioneering, fraud, and irregularities have percolated to the surface.
On Thursday, the MacIver Institute revealed that the Racine County Sheriff’s Department was initiating an investigation into documents found in a dumpster at the Cesar Chavez Community Center (the polling location for Racine wards 11,12, and 15). According to a source that MacIver talked to, the investigation pertains to pre-certified ballots, partially filled out election day registrations, and partisan political literature found in the dumpster.
In the days leading up to the June 5, recall election, Media Trackers documented an early voting event in Racine sponsored by the Racine Interfaith Coalition. The supposedly ‘non-partisan’ early voting breakfast featured free food, partisan signs, and free rides to the polls in vans that posted the names of Barrett, Mitchell, and Lehman in the windows.
On Breitbart.com, Rebel Pundit detailed how a union member threatened to “bang” an election observer’s “head against the floor,” how the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (polling site for Racine wards 8,17,and 18) featured a mural of President Obama, and how a van driving voters to the polls clearly has the words “Cash Money” written on the windows.
In the days and weeks ahead, regardless of whether Senator Wanggaard concedes or not, the Senate District 21 election will remain under scrutiny.