Gov. Scott Walker has made a spectacular assertion in advance of next week’s gubernatorial recall election.
“I’ve always thought in this state, close elections, presidential elections, it means you probably have to win with at least 53 percent of the vote to account for fraud. One or two points, potentially ... I mean there’s no question why they went to court and fought (to undo) voter ID.”
This is a monumental claim. Consider this: There were 2.2 million votes cast in the 2010 election for governor, and it’s reasonable to assume that turnout on June 5 will be close to 2.2 million again. Each percentage point represents 22,000 votes. Since Walker believes he needs 53 percent, he is alleging 66,000 fraudulent votes will be cast next week.
Alright, governor, where’s your proof? Where will those 66,000 votes come from? Milwaukee County? Waukesha County? Dane County? Washington County? Monroe County? Which poll workers under the supervision of which county clerks will allow fraudulent votes to be cast? If you expect 66,000 fraudulent votes, how do you know that every single one will be cast for your opponent?
Walker specifically linked his charge to the voter ID requirement that has been challenged in court and won’t be enforced for the recall. Does he really believe there are 66,000 people in Wisconsin — all Democrats — who will show up at the polls next week, misrepresent themselves at the polling place, cast ballots and then escape detection after the election? If so, will he ask the Attorney General to conduct an investigation so that the public can see all 66,000 names?
To toss this kind of rhetorical bomb on the eve of an election is reckless and ugly, even by today’s degraded standard of political rhetoric. Gov. Walker, either identify the specific source of fraudulent votes or recant and apologize. It’s the only honorable thing to do.