Same Day Voter Registration Exposed

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After years of hearing Democrats and their supporters say there is “no vote fraud going on in Wisconsin”, the patriot group Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty decided to find out for themselves. The group used Freedom of Information requests to acquire all 11,007 Election Day Registrations (EDR) from across Milwaukee County for the April 5, 2011 election. They chose that vote casting day because it represented a mid-level election. There was no Presidential primary or general on the ballot to skew totals higher, but there was a hotly contested Supreme Court race. And “same day” registrations have had more than their share of controversy, which is probably why only seven states allow it in the first place.

What they found was not only revealing, but it put to rest the notion that election reform is unnecessary. The problems uncovered by the EDR analysis showed that over 33% (3,739) of the same day registrations submitted on April 5th contained at least some type of error. 1,995 of those errors were EDRs that provided no proof of residency. So even though nearly 95% of all same day registrations used a Wisconsin driver’s license or ID, many claimed different new or old addresses, requiring the EDR.

The analysis showed that the biggest problem with same day registration was not necessarily fraud, but a lack of accountability for following the law. Whether poll workers were not trained or actively supported the problem, the massive error rate prevented the public from any sort of integrity in the electoral process. Just look at what poll workers allowed as proof of residency, and you get the picture of how broken this system is:

District 1 – A magazine subscription invoice was proof of residence – and then this voter corroborated for someone else.

District 14 – An Illinois violation citation was used as their Wisconsin proof of residence.

Greenfield – A voter used their Ohio driver’s license and a passport as proof they lived in Wisconsin. This person then corroborated for someone else who only had a passport with them.

Milwaukee – A voter used their Louisiana State ID to prove they lived in Wisconsin.

Whitefish Bay – A Michigan driver’s license was their proof of residence.

Glendale – Three individuals registered and voted using a hotel receipt to meet residency requirements. Two of the voters had out-of state licenses while the third used a military ID card.

Besides the ID problems, there were 228 registrations that either the poll worker or the voter did not sign. There were 164 people who registered and voted in the wrong districts, 1,995 forms left out the proof of residency information, and 541 electors re-registered, even though their current information was already in the database. It seemed that whichever ward a voter walked into, they were given a ballot and voted. On top of that, poll workers corroborated numerous individuals - who then corroborated for others. One District 1 poll worker corroborated for 34 separate people. Finally, at least 586 EDRs should have flagged the poll worker to substitute a “Provisional Ballot”, which would only be cast if the voter came back in with proof of identification. Only (1) provisional ballot was issued, though, showing that poll workers either neglected or ignored election law.

This was just one spring election, and the errors uncovered were appalling. The analysis made it clear that if you wanted to commit voter fraud, there was very little that was done to prevent it. The Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty concluded that “the entire process lacks enough accuracy and accountability required for managing clean elections. And lack of traceability was another serious issue. The inability to capture voter fraud in the act means that those ballots get counted no matter what is found after the election, thus tainting the results”.

With the new Voter ID law taking effect, requirements like a Photo ID and eliminating corroboration will be important steps to bring integrity back into our elections. But without better training and guidance for poll workers, they will be in vain. The Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty have vowed to stay on the case and analyze each successive election going forward. Hopefully, more honest elections and fewer problems will be the result.

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