What’s next for ‘Mr. Ethics’?

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — It appears Scot Ross broke the law, but will the state Ethics commissioner face an investigation?

That remains to be seen.

As Empower Wisconsin first reported, Ross, a liberal and highly partisan member of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, tweeted a photograph of his absentee ballot. That’s a no-no under Wisconsin elections law, and the guy who likes to call himself “Mr. Ethics” ought to know that.

“Tossed my Wisconsin absentee ballot in the mailbox today. In addition to @Savison_C, I voted for @underlyforwi and for pro-term limits advisory referendum,” Ross wrote in the tweet, accompanied by the pic of his ballot, posted late Sunday afternoon.

Ross pulled the tweet sometime later.

Wisconsin election law is pretty clear on the subject. The statute under Election Fraud states anyone who “Shows his or her marked ballot to many person or places a mark upon the ballot so it is identifiable as his or her ballot” has committed a Class I Felony, punishable by up to 3 1/2 years in state prison, with fines up to $10,000 or both.

Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney said the commission is prohibited from opening a criminal investigation unless it has received a sworn complaint.

“I’m not aware of anyone having made public any sworn complaints to the WEC regarding the subject you asked about, so WEC does not have any comment on your questions,” Magney said in an email  to Empower Wisconsin Thursday morning.

The commission is prohibited from releasing information about complaints or investigations unless it has taken “specific actions,” either dismissing a complaint or referring it to a district attorney, Magney said.

“If someone who files a sworn complaint with the WEC makes that complaint public, WEC will acknowledge if it has actually been received,” the spokesman said.

Wisconsin is among 18 states that prohibit voters from posting a photo of their completed ballot.

 

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2 responses to “What’s next for ‘Mr. Ethics’?”

  1. Ray Avatar
    Ray

    So Matt: Have you filed a sworn complaint?

  2. David Krantz Avatar
    David Krantz

    The commission is prohibited from releasing information about complaints or investigations unless it has taken “specific actions,” either dismissing a complaint or referring it to a district attorney, Magney said.

    What’s the over/under on dismissed?

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