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MADISON — A Democratic operative in the Zuckerberg-funded network of liberal election activists connected Wauwatosa to a leader of Milwaukee’s far left Voces de la Frontera to hire poll workers for November’s election, new emails obtained by Wisconsin Spotlight show.

Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein, who served as Wisconsin lead for the National Vote at Home Institute, emailed Wauwatosa’s interim city clerk Cindi Dulaney on Sept. 11. As he did elsewhere, Spitzer-Rubenstein used a publicized opportunity to connect.

“I saw in the Journal Sentinel that you need 50 poll workers. Is that right? I can put out the call to our partners at Power the Polls,” Spitzer-Rubenstein wrote. 

Power to the Polls was established nationally in June 2020 to recruit poll workers “to ensure a safe, fair (presidential) election for all voters” during the pandemic. It is one of the Chicago-based Center for Tech and Civic Life partners in a network of left-leaning voting organizations. CTCL received more than $300 million in funding from Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to hand out “safe and secure” election grants, like the millions dumped on Wisconsin’s five largest and most heavily Democrat cities.

On Sept. 16, Spitzer-Rubenstein connected Dulaney with Natalia Espina, who was “leading the Wisconsin effort for Power the Polls.” Espina also serves as operations director for Voces de la Frontera, a Milwaukee-based socialist organization. The organization protested at former President Trump’s campaign rally in Oshkosh as Espina was compiling lists of potential poll workers.

“I’m connecting you two to help Wauwatosa recruit election inspectors,” Spitzer-Rubenstein wrote. “Natalia, Cindi is interested in the list of signups in Wauwatosa for poll workers. She can then reach out to those people directly.”

As a Wisconsin Spotlight investigation uncovered, CTCL required the “Wisconsin 5” cities to sign contracts that included funding clawback provisions if they failed to meet CTCL’s demands. Local elections officials had to work with the center’s partner organizations, like the National Vote at Home Institute, and Spitzer Rubenstein.

As a Wisconsin Spotlight investigation uncovered, Spitzer-Rubenstein was intricately involved in the administration of Green Bay’s and Milwaukee’s elections, even offering to “cure” or correct absentee ballots.

Spitzer-Rubenstein and several other left-leaning activists in CTCL’s network played prominent roles in Milwaukee’s election administration, according to emails obtained by Wisconsin Spotlight through an open records request. The emails show the activists and election officials sharing raw voter data and discussing how best to maximize turnout of traditionally Democratic voters in “areas with predominantly minorities.”

The new emails show Spitzer-Rubenstein was also interested in Wauwatosa, one of Milwaukee’s largest and most-left leaning suburbs. 

Complaints have been filed against Milwaukee, Green Bay, Racine and Kenosha, alleging the cities violated election law by turning over the administration of their elections to CTCL and their third-party groups.

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