Thank you, Wisconsin
Tuesday night, Americans watched with rapt attention as Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker became the first Governor in U.S. history to win a recall election.
It was a great victory for the Walker campaign to be sure, but the real winners were the citizens of Wisconsin and it was a victory of their own making: hard won and well deserved.
People were inspired to engage in the process of their government, voter turnout reached all time highs, and their collective voices were heard, despite the heavy-handed influence of special interests who tried their level best to blur the lines of electoral legality.
From the time the union-backed group, United Wisconsin, launched a Recall Petition to force the recall elections of Gov. Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four other senators, until yesterday at 8:00 p.m. CT when the polls closed, citizens across Wisconsin rolled up their sleeves, put on their waders, and jumped in to defend the integrity of their elections.
When Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board announced it would not audit the petition signatures collected by the unions, True the Vote built an online data entry program and helped launch the Verify the Recall effort. Wisconsinites, along with fellow Americans from all 50 states, got involved and within days, 17,000 volunteers had joined in to help conduct an independent, citizen-led audit of epic proportion. Over a 32 day period, 8.3 million records were entered, and thousands upon thousands of ineligible signatures were revealed along with the signatures of many sitting judges, district attorneys, and journalists, shattering any illusion of their impartiality in government affairs.
But the commitment to fair elections didn't end there. When it came time to work at the polls, a coalition of groups from across Wisconsin helped sponsor True the Vote Election Observer trainings all over the state and online, helping us train about 500 volunteers in a very short period of time. Their remarkable conviction led to the mobilization of a small army of Election Observers who stood sentinel at the polls to ensure the sanctity of the vote was preserved for all voters.
True the Vote's goal was not to support a specific outcome, other than an honest one...but we are gratified and humbled that our commitment to uphold the integrity of our election process resonated with the people of Wisconsin.
We thank the citizens of Wisconsin and countless other volunteers across the nation for standing with True the Vote for free and fair elections. We still have a long election cycle ahead, one that will test the mettle of us all, but this victory proves that Americans will always rise to defend their vote and the freedom it protects.
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