To the editor,
First let me thank you for your overwhelming support in the recent run for State Senate. After a hard fought, yet positive campaign, Joe Uecker won by less than 200 votes. Between Joe and I, Brown County gave me 85% of the vote. Your confidence is truly appreciated.
Recently, it has been reported that the Brown County Board of Elections is under investigation because of Election Day procedures. Leaders in the Democratic Party have accused me of being the source. I was aware of these irregularities on Election Day. It involved voters that wanted to switch political parties. Brown County Board of Elections had instructed their poll workers to require the voter to sign a affidavit in order to vote, if you wanted a ballot for the party in which you were not registered. The Secretary of State had instructed county boards not to use the affidavit. Before noon on Election Day, my campaign asked the Brown County Board of Elections to immediately suspend the use of the form. After calling the Secretary of State, they did stop requiring the voter to sign the form. Did there actions disenfranchise voters? Did it cost me votes? I am extremely confident that it did. Did it cost me the election? Absolutely not! I have never and I repeat never said that it did.
Democrats on the Board of Elections have accused me of being immature and "sour grapes". No one from my campaign leadership, my family, or I, contacted the Secretary of State. I would have filed a complaint before the official count if I had wanted to go down that road. I did not!
Joe and I ran an extremely hard fought, aggressive campaign, but I do not remember a single time that either one of us spoke a negative word about each other. Losing by 180 votes is hard, but not nearly as hard as having some of the Democrats from my home county making accusations against me that are simply not true.
As chairman of the Brown County Republican Party, I would also like to address accusations against the Republican members of the Board of Elections. When openings arise at the Board of Elections office, it is the responsibility of the political party for those openings to recruit qualified candidates. It is my belief that the Deputy Director should first and foremost have experience with communication and customer service. I do not feel it is a pre-requisite to have worked in the Board of Elections office to "move up". The Republican board members are simply doing their job.
The Democrats on the Board of Elections said that we must hire from within. As a business owner, I believe it is common sense to do an open search for any position. This would also include any "in house" candidate. While the Democrats throw stones at the Republicans, they did not follow their own rationale when we hired the Director a few years ago. By what they have said, the only candidate would have been the current Democrat clerk at the time, who had several years of experience, and she was not even considered. Seems like they have different rules when they are hiring a Democrat than a Republican.
I encourage the board to look at all applicants, take into consideration the Republican Central Committee recommendation, and hire the best person. I was a sitting member of the Board of Elections when the director was hired and we did not try to manipulate the Democrats. We would expect the same consideration.
Currently the Board of Elections is looking for a Republican Clerk and a Republican Deputy Director. Anyone with interest should talk with the Board of Elections office in Georgetown. I personally know all four current board members. I am sure the Board of Elections will supervise a fair election in the fall, hire two qualified Republican employees, and work tirelessly to make Brown County proud.
The Brown County Board of Elections and Elections office remain under investigation for attempts by Democrats to suppress crossover voters in the 2012 primary.