The following is what I personally witnessed in Racine this past Tuesday


My first stop in the city of Racine was the Cesar Chavez Community Center polling place. As I walked towards the entrance to the building there were two vans. One of the van drivers was swearing up a storm about people taking pictures of his license plates. He was not happy. I went inside the building, and inquired as to where the chief election inspectors were located. I did meet one inspector, the other inspector, I was told, was spending most of his time talking to the van driver outside. I never did get to meet him. As there were a number of observers at this location I decided to move on.

My next stop was the Festival Park polling place. The vans were also arriving here on a regular basis. I observed at the registration table and found out there were a number of issues in regards to "proof of residency." People were attempting to register but did not have the proper documents to do so. Shortly thereafter, one of the observers was threatened by a van driver who told her he was going to bash her head into the cement. She called the police and he did receive a $400 ticket. Another man was not allowed to vote and after a string of four-letter words, was also escorted out of the building by two other policemen.

I decided to follow one of the vans which dropped off a couple of men in front of a home that had chairs set out on the front lawn with a man cooking food over a grill. The van then proceeded another block to the Bray Community Center. The place was swarming with people. To my amazement I realized that in every direction there where teams of young people in yellow shirts going door to door on every street asking people to vote. It appeared that when when they found a person who agreed to vote they would make a phone call. I later was told by a fellow observer, that the rumor was that before school let out, 450 young people were hired from Racine Horlick High School to be part of this "Knock and Drag" operation. I also found out that the director of the Bray Center was "Jemel" which happened to be the same name of the man who threatened the observer at Festival Park. The vans were also here and once again the real problem was at the registration table. People were using personal letters or "occupant" advertisements as their proof of residency. This was also the location that a very sharp fellow observer challenged a voter that he recognized as having voted three times.

In and of itself, there is nothing illegal about a "knock and drag" operation. What is potentially illegal is what was written on the van windows. Besides "Vote Power" or Vote Barrett" or "Vote Yes" we also saw the letters "YMCM." This is the name of a rapper which stands for "Young Money Cash Money." Other observers witnessed the words "cash money" on the vans. People in Racine told me that in the past these voters would receive what looked like an invitation to

a party, which actually was a coupon that was redeemable at a local store. So was this group paying cash to lure people to vote? “Jemel” was eagerly checking the poll books to see who had voted and who hadn't.

I was appalled! I had never seen anything like this before. It was a travesty of our election process. Without VOTER ID we have no way to determine if the voter is who they say they are and if they are qualified to vote as set forth in our state constitution. My civil rights were trampled upon in Racine this past Tuesday.

I am asking the Government Accountability Board and the Department of Justice to investigate the voter irregularities in the city of Racine. Because this was a state-wide race, they have the authority to investigate if any criminal activity may have occurred. Please give the Dept. of Justice a call at 608-266-1221 and the GAB at 608-266-8005 and ask them if they will be doing an investigation.

This is important. This type of operation may be coming to a town near you this fall.

Ardis Cerny