by Benjamin Yount


The Wisconsin Elections Commission is not doing anything, at least not yet, about voter fraud complaints and changing absentee ballots.

The Commission on Wednesday was either deadlocked or voted against asking for criminal charges in a Racine County voter fraud case and moving to close the loophole that allowed that case. Commission members also refused to follow an order from the legislature and tell local election clerks they are not allowed to fill-in absentee ballots on their own.

The decision on the voter fraud charge may be just a matter of time, however.

The Commission said it will wait for a formal complaint against Harry Wait, the Racine County man who admitted that he asked for other people’s ballots through the state’s MyVote system, before asking for criminal charges. Democratic Election Commissioner Mark Thomsen said there’s nothing to wait for.

“When we know that there are individuals that are attempting to fraudulently get into our system, using other peoples’ names to obtain ballots, which are all potentially many, many felonies, when we know this is ongoing, we have an absolute duty to respond to known fraud,” Thomsen said. “Not fake fraud, but actual fraud. And we have an obligation to move on it quickly.”

Republican Elections Commission Bob Spindell wanted to focus not on Wait, but on the vulnerability that he exposed.

“The issue out there. The elephant in the room so to speak, in my opinion, is we have to make it more secure,” Spindell said.

Democratic Commissioner Ann Jacobs said she doesn’t want to do anything that could make it more difficult to vote.

“Voting needs to be available to people and we shouldn’t make it less available because people are willing to commit crimes,” Jacobs said.

The Commission was deadlocked on new guidance for local election clerks on curing ballots.

The legislature’s rule-making committee struck down the Commission’s rule that allowed local clerks to fill in absentee ballots on their own, but Commission members say until the vote, that rule and guidance will stay in place.

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Benjamin Yount is a contributor to The Center Square.