September 15, 2010
Wisconsin and Minnesota Working to Address Voter Fraud
News reports this week highlighted the cooperative effort being conducted by Wisconsin and Minnesota to identify and prosecute individuals that illegally vote twice. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) compared voter rolls with lists provided by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office in an effort to find voters that may have fraudulently voted in both states. As a result of this review, two Menomonie men were recently charged with voting twice, a felony in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.
GAB is also working to come to an agreement with Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa to conduct similar reviews of voter rolls with those states. It is encouraging that GAB is taking the issue of election fraud seriously and taking proactive steps to address illegal voting. While some matches may be the result of clerical errors, it is important to safeguard our elections and ensure their integrity. Fraudulent votes disenfranchise honest voters and could actually determine the outcome in close elections.
Given the importance of ensuring fair and honest elections, I support efforts to enact a voter identification requirement in Wisconsin. This effort seeks to enact a prudent reform to our election process that would require photo identification when voting. Exemptions would be provided for frail and homebound citizens and identification cards would be issued at no charge to those in financial need. Currently, twenty-five states require some form of identification before voting. Unfortunately, efforts to establish photo identification for voting in Wisconsin have been vetoed by Governor Doyle and most recently blocked by Majority Democrats in the State Legislature.
Do you believe voter identification laws are important to ensure election integrity or are they an unnecessary burden on voters? Please let me know by calling my office at 1-800-862-1092 or sending me an email to Sen.Harsdorf@legis.wi.gov.