While most of the focus of election fraud in Wisconsin has been on Milwaukee and its 30% same-day registration in two succeeding presidential elections, the smaller city of Racine also had its own problems. State representative Robin Vos accused Racine officials of ignoring electoral law by failing to even attempt the verification of same-day registrants as required by Wisconsin law:
State Rep. Robin Vos accused the city of Racine on Wednesday of violating state law by failing to send out voter verification cards to people who registered to vote on the same day as the Nov. 2 election.
“Racine County residents deserve fair and proper elections,” Vos, R-Caledonia, said. “I’m disappointed to see that the city of Racine isn’t doing everything possible to ensure this happens, especially when Wisconsin law requires it.”
Racine City Clerk Carolyn Moskonas, who was recently appointed to the position, confirmed Wednesday that the city doesn’t send out postcards to same-day voter registrants. She added that there is no record of the city ever sending out postcards to verify the registrations.
“My predecessor didn’t do it, and there’s no money in my budget to do it,” Moskonas said.
At issue are the more than 3,000 people who signed up to vote in the city of Racine on election day. In the weeks leading up to the election, Moskonas and her three-person staff called or sent letters to people who registered to vote.
But since Nov. 2, Moskonas said her staff has focused on processing the election, which saw about 38,000 city residents vote. Moskonas said her office won’t be done with the election until the end of January – long after anything could be done to impact the election.
Note the level of same-day registrations in Racine. While 84,000 of Milwaukee’s 277,000 votes came from same-day registrants, the same process only 3,000 of Racine’s 38,000 votes, or 7.9%. That comes much closer to the percentage we saw in St. Paul with similar laws (9.4%). It’s too many, but a far cry from the 30% that voted in Milwaukee.
Racine obviously ignores state law, and Racine needs to be held accountable. However, the examples of both cities should propel the Wisconsin legislature to eliminate their same-day registration system in favor of something more secure. The ability of anyone off the street to find a legitimate elector (a registered voter in the precinct) to simply vouch for them in order to cast a ballot leaves the state open for mischief and fraud, with no practical way to either stop it or investigate it later. At the minimum, the state should restrict same-day registrations to those with state-issued IDs that list the address from which the voter makes his claim of legitimacy and then treat the ballot as provisional until the name can be checked against the voter rolls.
Until the state legislature acts, this will happen in every Wisconsin election. And until the legislature receives enough humiliation, they won’t lift a finger to change anything.