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Wisconsin Elections Commission discusses fraud concerns ahead of general election

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 10:36 PM CDT
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GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) – If you haven’t already received a requested absentee ballot for the November election, you will soon.

Thursday is the State imposed deadline for clerks to get those ballots out.

However, there are concerns being expressed about potential fraud, and whether the state can process those ballots in a timely matter.

Some members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission are concerned about the potential to vote twice by casting an absentee ballot by mail and then showing up at a polling location in person.

It is a felony, but despite checks and balances in place, it did happen once during the April election in Brown County.

This November, state officials expect one to two million votes to be cast absentee due to COVID-19 concerns.

Once you mail in or drop off your absentee ballot, you can’t show up on Election Day to vote in person, even if you think the ballot wasn’t received by mail.

“What can we do to better to publicize the fact that this is felony conduct, you’re going to lose your right to vote, you’re going to lose others, if you’re convicted of this, there are serious consequences,” said Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Dean Knutson. “I don’t think that we should leave anyone with the impression that there is a catastrophic problem with our system as we have it when one out of nearly a million ballots fell through the cracks,” said Ann Jacobs, the Chair of the Wisconsin Elections Commission Chair.

Commissioners didn’t discuss any specifics regarding the Brown County case, but say a similar incident also happened in Waukesha County during the August election.

Another issue that was brought up is the amount of time it will take to count these absentee votes, and one commissioner suggested the possibility of a federal judge giving the state an extra week to do so.

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