Cedarburg election inspector finds one case of potential voter fraud

Posted at 7:04 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 20:04:27-05

CEDARBURG — There have been several allegations of voter fraud across the country after the presidential election, but there are checks in place to catch issues at the polls.

Poll inspectors document everything that happens at their voting site on Election Day. TMJ4 News requested all of the inspector reports for municipalities in Ozaukee County. We found they caught several issues including one case of potential voter fraud in Cedarburg.

Behind the scenes at each polling site on Election Day is an inspector who is assigned to make sure every valid vote is counted and to investigate problems with ballots that have to be remade or rejected.

Cedarburg’s inspector reports each time a ballot had to be duplicated and the reason why, from torn ballots to voters using blue ink or x’s rather than filling in the ovals next to their candidate of choice.

"If an absentee ballot comes back and the machine kicks it out with, like one example, the machine may say ambiguous mark and it would be the job then of the election inspectors to in particular to determine on voter intent and then remake that ballot,” explained Cedarburg Clerk Tracie Sette.

Due to a record number of absentee-by-mail votes this year, Sette said her office spent a great deal of time contacting absentee voters about mistakes on their ballots and envelopes like missing a voter or witness signature.

“If there's information missing, we have contacted voters on a daily basis for them to come in and fix it,” Sette said.

Dozens who never responded had their ballots rejected, but they weren’t the only ones. Both Mequon and Cedarburg rejected an absentee ballot each from deceased voters.

“When I looked into it, the dates that were on the certificate envelope weren't consistent with what I was seeing as when the voter was deceased in our systems. So that's what led me to think it was voter fraud,” Sette said.

Sette asked Cedarburg police to investigate. The Cedarburg police chief said an officer assigned to the case found that the voter died in July. Now, the department is set to meet with the Ozaukee County District Attorney to discuss potential voter fraud charges.

To be clear, this one allegation of voter fraud in Cedarburg is out of more than 8,200 ballots cast.

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