A round of automated phone calls urging residents of the 32nd Senate District to vote one week after the upcoming recall election has voters from both parties crying foul.
Several voters reported receiving calls Saturday asking about their preference and likelihood to vote in the recall election pitting Republican Sen.
Dan Kapanke against Democratic Rep. Jennifer Shilling, both of La Crosse.
The recorded calls, recipients said, urged them to vote Aug. 16.
Only one problem: The 32nd District votes on Aug. 9.
Government Account -ability Board spokesman Reid Magney said the Democratic National Committee called election officials Friday saying they initiated the calls but stopped them Saturday once the incorrect date was discovered.
The DNC did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
There are two recall elections set for Aug. 16 in other districts.
Magney said the GAB received only one complaint about the calls — forwarded by a media outlet. While it is a crime to deliberately mislead voters, Magney said the responsibility for investigation and prosecution rests with local authorities.
The Kapanke campaign reported two others received similar calls, and reminded supporters that the election is Aug. 9. The La Crosse Education Association, the local teachers union, also alerted members to the false date.
Claire Cina of Viola got one of the calls. A
Kapanke supporter, she
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“I think it’s deliberate,” she told Wisconsin Reporter. “I feel like it was a deliberate attempt to have people miss the election by a week.”
John Storlie got the call. He’s a Shilling supporter and just as upset.
“It may be innocently misinformed,” he said. “Regardless if they’re innocent or malicious — either way, it’s disturbing.”
The Kapanke campaign also complained this week about campaign signs defaced with swastikas.
It’s hateful vandalism, Harrington said, that is disturbing, particularly for Kapanke’s Jewish supporters.
Graeme Zielinski, spokesman for the Wisconsin Democratic Party, said he wasn’t aware of any incidents, but added the party has no room for such acts.
“Anyone who practices that, we wish no association with them,” he said. “If anybody thinks they are helping our side by doing that, they are wrong and
completely off base, and they should cease to do so.”
Harrington said she doesn’t believe the Democratic Party is behind the vandalism.
Wisconsin Reporter contributed to this story.