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Very few suspected cases of illegal voting in 2020 Wisconsin elections: Report

Posted at 5:37 PM, Jun 02, 2021

A deeper dive into voter fraud in Wisconsin last year doesn't add up to rampant concerns by Republicans in a new report.

Clerks around the state are required to report any suspected cases of people voting illegally. A report by the Wisconsin Elections Commission shows 41 possible cases. Three were in Milwaukee County.

The 2020 presidential election that helped put Joe Biden in the White House was decided by fewer than 21,000 votes in Wisconsin, out of 3.3 million cast.

Since April of last year, clerks referred 41 suspected cases of voter fraud. Twenty-two were in La Crosse County for improper residential addresses, while other cases included voting twice, in-person and absentee by mail.

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2020 was a record year for absentee ballots, with 1.9 million cast in the general election.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission says there is a check and balance system at the polls to prevent double voting from happening.

It includes asking the voter, who requested an absentee ballot but showed up to vote in person, one question.

"Did you return the ballot, yes or no," said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator. "If you have already returned it, that's going to show up on the poll book as well, and then voters would not be eligible to receive a ballot at the polls on Election Day."

Commissioners also looked at illegal voting by felons. Felons can legally vote but only if they have completed all of their probation and parole requirements.

In the past decade, the commission reports 426 felon votes out of a total of 33 million votes.

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Commissioners agreed the few suspected illegal voting cases are wrong, but argued over its impact.

"I think it's a bit disingenuous to keep talking about this if only a few hundred out of millions and millions of votes," said Commissioner Dean Knudson. "The importance of it is that they were illegal votes and if they are illegal votes, they shouldn't have been counted at all."

"If we want to reassure people about elections, we should tell them the truth," said Commissioner Mark Thomsen. "And the truth is, we haven't had a felon flip an election since this election commission was in place."

Those 16 people in La Crosse County who registered to vote using a UPS store address will not be charged with voter fraud. The prosecutor says those individuals did not intend to break the law.

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