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January 20, 2005
Wisconsin Doesn't Follow Its Own Electoral Law

Greg Borokowski continues his dogged pursuit of the Wisconsin voting irregularities in 2004 for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, even though no one in the national media appears to notice, outside of the Washington Times. In today's paper, Borokowski reveals that despite having one of the most liberal and fraud-susceptible voter-registration systems in the country, the elections boards rarely refer invalid registrations to the district attorney's office:

In the wake of Milwaukee's inability to send confirmation cards to some 10,000 newly registered voters, a Journal Sentinel review suggests that a little-discussed - but key - safeguard in election law is not routinely followed.

The provision requires that any confirmation cards that the U.S. Postal Service cannot deliver be sent to the local district attorney's office for investigation for possible fraud.

District attorneys from around the state said Wednesday, however, that they receive few such referrals - and some did not know it was a requirement. And some cities, including Racine, don't send out confirmation cards at all. Meanwhile, some clerks have complained to state election officials that the returned cards they do submit are not investigated by authorities.

So we have in Wisconsin a system in which anyone can walk up to any precinct and register on Election Day, as long as they have someone who will vouch for their eligibility. Now we know from Borokowski's extensive report -- he quotes a number of DAs for their reaction -- that the chances of a criminal referral from a fraudulent registration approach absolute zero. Most of the Wisconsin DAs appear unfamiliar with the requirement, and all of them have yet to pursue any criminal action.

How many people do you think are aware of the Wisconsin free pass? I would guess that quite a few figured it out in time for the 2000 election, and when nothing happened from that, tried it again for 2004. Milwaukee had 84,000, or over 30% of its entire voting base, register on Election Day. Meanwhile, in Illinois, where the GOP stupidly ran the carpetbagging extremist Alan Keyes against the popular Barack Obama for the Senate and John Kerry had a comfortable lead over George Bush, the Democrats knew they could afford to relocate a substantial number of voters -- and Milwaukee is only 100 minutes away from Chicago.

The Wisconsin legislature needs to make some changes in its election law, and the FEC should look into what happened in Wisconsin.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 20, 2005 7:11 AM

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