Wisconsin Elections Commission finds 19 possible cases of voter fraud since 2018

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported 19 cases of possible voter fraud since 2018, according to its 2019 audit report.

The WEC Public Information Officer Reid Magney said these are possible, not proven cases and that Wisconsin has relatively low numbers of potential fraud cases.

“It almost never happens,” he said.

Magney said most cases involve people voting twice, providing inaccurate information or felons trying to cast a ballot. He added that many cases are accidental.

“It is an extremely small issue,” he said. “We are on top of doing our best to make sure it doesn’t happen.”

Poll workers are also responsible for making sure voter fraud doesn’t happen intentionally or unintentionally.

Dianne Copenhefer has been working as a poll worker in Sun Prairie for the last seven years. She said she has never seen someone try to vote twice but has seen “where their absentee ballot didn’t come back and they did come in to vote that way.”

Donna Andres also works as a poll worker in Sun Prairie and has been doing so for the past nine years. She said she’s only seen someone try to vote twice one time.

“It was an elderly gentleman and we went to his residential facility and he voted there but he came in and he had forgotten that he had voted,” Andres said.

Magney said there are measures in place to ensure voter fraud doesn’t happen this year.

“There will be a watermark on your name on the poll book at the polling place that says an absentee ballot has been issued. If you return your absentee ballot by mail, and the clerk gets it back, there will be an additional watermark that says that person has returned that absentee ballot.”

Magney estimates 3 million people will vote in Wisconsin in November. He said the more voters and absentee ballots there are, the more chances there will be for possible fraud. But Magney said it’s something they’re prepared to catch.

“In those few cases where it does occur, we have the tools to spot it and make referrals to District Attorneys.”

The WEC will do an audit to see if there is any voter fraud this November, but Magney said that audit likely won’t happen until January 2021 and will take a couple of months to complete.