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Sunday, December 4th, 2022
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MADISON — The Assembly committee charged with investigating voter integrity concerns in the 2020 presidential election may be taking a closer look today at new emails showing Milwaukee’s cozy relationship with liberal groups engaged in building an app that precisely tracks real-time absentee ballots and voters.

Milwaukee Election Commission Director Claire Woodall-Vogg, the emails show, was quick to assist, even enlisting the city’s IT department to compile data on taxpayer time for the liberal activist groups funded by billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

An old friend of the so-called “WI-5” cities shows up again. Long-time Democratic Party operative Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein aggressively asks Woodall-Vogg for access to secured voter data. The elections official finally tells Spitzer-Rubenstein she is uncomfortable with his request.

“While I completely understand and appreciate the assistance that is trying to be provided, I am definitely not comfortable having a non-staff member involved in the functions of the voter database, much less recording it,” Woodall-Vogg wrote to Spitzer Rubenstein in a Sept. 16, 2020 email, as the activists at the National Vote at Home Institute and other partners in the Zuckerberg-funded network were hurrying to build a system that could track potential voters.

But not just any voter. They wanted to make sure to turn out the people most likely to vote for Democrats, according to the parameters they were setting. They wanted to tap into WisVote, the statewide election management and voter registration system, portions of which are definitely off limits to the general public. That includes liberal voting activist groups.

Spitzer-Rubestein later wrote that his “partners” were able to “access the voter file” without Woodall-Vogg having to “pull the data from WisVote.” He then asked Woodall-Vogg for more help on the project.

While Woodall-Vogg may have drawn a line in the sand on Spitzer-Rubenstein’s attempt at voter data access, emails obtained by Wisconsin Spotlight show she was more than willing to help the activist and his colleagues do just about everything else to embed themselves in Milwaukee’s election. And sources say the kind of data the groups were given would be extremely costly for the average citizen or political groups without a golden ticket into a wealth of voter data.

The emails  also show some other familiar progressive names involved in the liberal get-out-the-vote initiative, which, it should be noted, is not the domain of state and local elections officials. Among them was the left-wing Brennan Center, which offered to assist with “election integrity.”

While the Brennan Center “purports to be ‘nonpartisan,’ it has received substantial funding from George Soros-associated organizations, and is mainly funded by left-leaning organizations,” according to InfluenceWatch.

A local umbrella group, Wisconsin Voices Inc. is involved. Matthew Rothschild is listed as the organization’s president. Rothschild also runs the far left Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, and has been a vehement critic of Republicans and voter integrity laws such as voter ID.

As Wisconsin Spotlight previously reported, Spitzer-Rubenstein worked with Racine, another “WI-5” city, on a ballot tracking system. He sent an email to Racine City Clerk Tara Coolidge and Assistant Clerk Amber Pfeiffer, with the subject line “Tracking App + Map Follow-ups.” The email takes the former New York Democratic Party operative’s questionable involvement in Wisconsin’s elections to a new level, beyond his work “curing” or correcting absentee ballots or his concerning access to ballots and election networks on Election Day.

In the email, Spitzer-Rubenstein notes he was able to “download the ward shapefile,” a voter data format for geographic information system (GIS) software. The systems are used to target specific voters in get-out-the-vote campaigns. Once again, Democratic voters.

“And then, for the map, I was able to download the ward shapefile, so all I’ll need from you is the data from WisVote,” Spitzer-Rubenstein wrote.

Interestingly, the partner groups brought in Ari Steinberg, a former top engineer for Facebook, to assist with the creation of the app.  Steinberg is the creator of  Drive Turnout, a voter tracking app he designed in his free time.

(Fast IDentity Online) A technology from the FIDO Alliance that authenticates a user logging into an online service. In 2014, the Alliance introduced biometric and two-factor authentication methods.

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