I would like to thank long time reader and active commenter, forgotmyscreenname, for providing a link to the recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about recent charges brought against 10 area residents for voter fraud. After having read the article, I wanted to follow up with a few comments here.

Over the past decade, our Republican elected officials have been foaming at the mouth over the amount of voter fraud in the state of Wisconsin. Even after Republican Wisconsin Attorney General J B Van Hollen found virtually none after intense inspection of the 2008 Presidential election. And after a small number of citizens were prosecuted in the last few years for double voting: one couple at their previous address and at their current address and another couple via absentee ballot and again in person when conservative talk radio convinced them their absentee ballots wouldn’t be counted.

Clearly these were illegal activities and the individuals were charged as such. I don’t remember the final outcomes for any of the parties but I doubt anything earth shattering happened to anyone of them. But the Voter ID measure as originally passed would NOT have prevented either of these cases. All of these voters were registered under their own legal names and if asked for voter id would probably have been able to produce valid id.

Now we come to the ten new charges filed last week:

Leonard Brown voted twice…once in West Milwaukee via absentee ballot and once in Milwaukee…would voter id have prevented this? probably not…once he was registered he could cast both ballots with proper id.

Chad Gigowski voted twice…in Milwaukee and Greefield…he used a driver’s license with an old address to register in Greenfield…so he had id.

Brittany Rainey was a felon…voter id wouldn’t prevent her from voting…some other mechanism would be needed to track felons ineligible to vote.

Brian Uecker voted in his old ward where he no longer lived…voter id wouldn’t have prevented this

Fozia Nawaz voted in Greenfield because it was easier…since she was able to register…I would expect she would have a valid id to show when casting her ballot.

Bill Di Giorgio from Germantown voted in Milwaukee…story doesn’t explain the how or why…but if he had a photo id with his name it is unlikely he would have been prevented from voting.

The other charges were related to felons applying for jobs as voter registrars or signing recall petitions multiple times or fraudulently signing recall petitions…has nothing to do with casting ballots. So actually these shouldn’t even be considered voter fraud since they had nothing to do with actually casting ballots.

So we ended up with 6 apparent occurrences of fraudulent voting…6 out of 3,000,000 votes cast in the 2012 Presidential Election…that isn’t statistically significant. I am not even sure my little hand held calculator would provide the percentage!

Yet Rick Esenberg, a lawyer and part time Marquette Law School professor, decides to roil the waters yet again by using these pitiful examples in a renewed call for voter id laws…Professor Esenberg, you should be embarrassed. And the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel should be far more embarrassed for repeating it.

5 Responses to Wisconsin Voter Fraud and Voter ID

  1. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    Thank you for pointing this out. Most of these offenses have ZERO to do with voter ID.

    Many of these don’t deal with any violation other than voting in the wrong place, which is probably as likely due to GOP-sponsored redistricting (done ahead of the locals for the first time ever), and 28-day change of address laws that were instituted by WisGOP.

    And oh yeah, THEY GOT CAUGHT, so where’s the need for these extra laws? Unless you want to spend a lot of resources investigating absentee ballot fraud (strangely, WisGOP says little about that. Wonder why?), we have elections that run smoothly, and are the envy of much of the US. So why screw it up, other than to rig the vote?

  2. Gareth says:

    I think we need a strict licensing procedure for Law Professors, one that would disqualify someone from the profession for various ethics violations, in Esenberg’s case, lying. It’s a terrible thing that students are forced to learn the law from someone who is so dishonest.

  3. Rich says:

    Gee, if only we paid as much attention to other issues that actually were statistically significant.

    Like rampant gun deaths. Think of how many people died in Wisconsin by gun compared to committing voter fraud. A false equivalence, I know. But one group of people are at least still walking the planet.

    • forgotmyscreenname says:

      It’s a ridiculous comparison, as one has nothing to do with the other. People are dying in Africa while some people here worry about gay marriage.

      • Rich says:

        Hence my use of the term “false equivalence”. Duh.

        And yet, voter fraud and gay marriage have killed exactly zero people while hundreds die in Africa every day. And at least 30 people died by guns yesterday just in this country.

        Just keeping it real. Try to stay with me.

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