Racine City Clerk Failed To Note Proof Of Residence On Voter Registrations She Signed
By Collin Roth
A Media Trackers review of voter registration forms from the recall election shows that Racine City Clerk Janice M. Johnson-Martin personally failed to follow state protocol when registering voters. Johnson-Martin’s office has been forced to defend their work on election day, June 5, after a recount revealed numerous irregularities in election procedures in the City of Racine. This is the first time that the clerk herself has been found a direct party to errors in the process.
As many as 23 voter registration forms signed by Racine City Clerk Johnson-Martin failed to list the voter’s proof of residence type – information required by state law in fully completed voter registration forms. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board lists 11 different documents that are deemed acceptable to validate a voter’s proof of residence. They include a Wisconsin driver’s license, valid identification cards from the state or businesses, real estate or lease bills, utility bills, paychecks, and other documents.
By ignoring or overlooking the proof of evidence boxes on the forms, Johnson-Martin failed to follow GAB protocol. Whether proof of residence was ever provided by the voters is open to question. Some of the forms contain redacted information suggesting that some form of proof was provided, but the two boxes that allow officials and the public to know that the proof was proper and in compliance with state law were left blank.
Other boxes denoting the ward and other information for the voter were also left blank by the Clerk.
Below are two examples of the incomplete forms:
In a July 21, “Q & A” with the Racine Journal Times, Racine City Clerk Janice M. Johnson-Martin was asked about the numerous flaws and irregularities found in Racine, with most pertaining to errors made by Racine poll workers. Clerk Johnson-Martin told the Journal Times, “The City of Racine has taken every measure to improve the election process, to re-train our poll workers so they are aware of the procedures that are required and make sure they take the time to focus on doing it accurately.”
But apparently, passing the blame to fellow poll workers wasn’t the entire story. Racine City Clerk Johnson-Martin ought to look no further than herself to “take the time to focus on doing it accurately.” Despite the errors found among the City of Racine’s election process, Clerk Johnson-Martin told the Journal Times that poll worker training will not be changing, but there will perhaps be more emphasis added.
For failing to turn in election results in a timely fashion on election night, June 5, and for having numerous ballot bags tampered with or damaged at the end of the election, the Racine City Clerk’s office has come under increasing public scrutiny. During an investigation into the damaged ballot bags, Johnson-Martin failed to appear before the board of canvass choosing instead to send her deputy to testify under oath.