Wisconsin Spotlight | May 29, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — A Green County man voted twice in the same election on two separate occasions, according to a preliminary review of suspected voter fraud.
The case of Allan L. Miller serves as a reminder that voter fraud is real, and it’s happening a lot more frequently than opponents of voter integrity laws will ever admit.
Green County District Attorney Craig Nolen tells Empower Wisconsin that Miller, now deceased, voted twice in the 2018 general election. He cast a ballot in Browntown, in Green County, and another in Cook County, Ill.
State statute prohibits anyone from intentionally voting “more than once in the same election.” Doing so is a Class I Felony, punishable by 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Nolen said a review of the voting records found Miller had also double voted in Wisconsin and Illinois in the 2016 general election.
The Wisconsin Election Commission is required to use the Election Registration Information Center (ERIC), which matches voter participation records across state lines, to track individuals likely voting in the same election in multiple states.
Wisconsin has been a participating member in ERIC for several years, but the Elections Commission has been slow to use it for tracking voter fraud. It certainly did not catch Miller’s apparent multi-state voting in the 2016 election.
WEC staff did do a system review late last year and the commission ultimately referred 43 cases of double voting to district attorneys in 19 counties. After two months, the commission responded to Empower Wisconsin’s records request seeking the names of the possible offenders and the district attorney offices that received the referrals. WEC would not release the names of the possible double voters, but it did identify the DA offices involved.
Illinois represented the highest number of potential “cross voting,” at 26 incidents, according to the records.
It’s not clear how many of these cases will turn into charges.
Empower Wisconsin reached out to the district attorneys for comment. Most offices — including DAs in Dane, Milwaukee, Rock, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Brown, Racine, Wood, Sawyer, Green Lake, Jefferson, Winnebago, Oneida and Adams — either would not comment or did not return calls.
Sheboygan County District Attorney Joel Urmanski told Empower Wisconsin that an assistant DA reviewed the one case referred to his office. A prosecutor is now investigating it. He said it was a “complicated case,” but hopes to have a decision on whether to charge in two or three weeks. That case involves an apparent absentee vote in Wisconsin, and an early vote in Illinois, according to records.
An official with the Eau Claire DA’s office said an assistant DA is reviewing the two complaints referred. The referrals involve a voter who potentially voted at the polls in Wisconsin, and by mail in Colorado. Another voter appears to have voted absentee in Wisconsin, and by early vote in Nevada.
Miller won’t be prosecuted in Green County. He’s dead.
But Nolen said his office takes voter fraud very seriously.
“A double-voting situation cancels out the vote of another eligible voter, regardless of partisan preference or candidate. It totally undermines the integrity of the system,” the DA said.
He added that he wished the Election Commission would do more initial investigative work in advance of just dropping referrals in the laps of district attorneys.
“We have to do all of the legwork,” Nolen said.
The Election Commission certainly expects much in return for its referrals. In a letter to the DAs, WEC staff attorney Nathan Judnic notes that the law enforcement officers are expected to “periodically provide the Commission with an update on the status of the referral to your office until the matter has been resolved.”
Judnic, who was integrally involved in the unconstitutional John Doe II investigation into Wisconsin conservatives, emphasized that “any allegation of voter fraud is a serious matter.”
“The final disposition of this matter should be based upon a thorough criminal investigation conducted with the assistance of your investigative staff and/or local law enforcement,” Judnic wrote.