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Wasserman and Peckarsky Public Records Requests Withdrawn

Posted in
Priority: 
High Priority
Date: 
January 5, 2017
To: 
Wisconsin County Clerks
To: 
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks
To: 
City of Milwaukee Election Commission
To: 
Milwaukee County Election Commission
From: 
Michael Haas, Interim Administrator

Many municipal and county clerks have received public records requests involving records related to the General Election and the Presidential recount.  One request included more than 60 items and was submitted by Harvey Wasserman of Columbus, Ohio.  Another request for electronic ballot images was submitted by Attorney Peter Peckarsky, affiliated with a law firm also located in Ohio.  After discussions with both requesters, the Elections Commission has been authorized to notify local election officials that both of these requests are immediately withdrawn and that you are not required to take any further action regarding either request.  

The attorney for Mr. Wasserman, Robert Fitrakis, informed us late this afternoon that the Wasserman request is withdrawn.  They may consider re-submitting requests to a smaller group of selected municipalities at some point in the future but the current request is withdrawn.  If a future request is made, they may also consult with our office first to determine whether it would be more efficient to seek some records from the Elections Commission.

Attorney Peckarsky also informed us that his law firm no longer represents the Jill Stein campaign and, since his request was made on behalf of the Stein campaign, it is also withdrawn.

We are aware that there are other pending public records requests related to General Election data, including some involving audit logs or other data from voting equipment memory devices.  We are contacting voting equipment vendors to discuss the technical and legal issues related to providing or withholding such records, and will provide further guidance as soon as we can.  We understand that decisions need to be made promptly regarding transferring data from memory devices so that they can be used again for the Spring Primary, so we are seeking answers as soon as possible and hope to update you further in the next couple of days.  Clerks should continue to consult with their legal counsel regarding those requests.