With voting underway in Wisconsin’s partisan primary election Tuesday, the Republican primary challenger to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Paul Nehlen, may have broken state law by tweeting a photo of what appeared to be a marked ballot. State law bars any voter from showing “his or her marked ballot to any person or places a mark upon the ballot so it is identifiable as his or her ballot.” The campaign of Nehlen, a Delavan businessman who is challenging Ryan, may have done just that Tuesday. At 3:18 p.m. Tuesday, Nehlen’s campaign Twitter account posted a photo of what appeared to be a completed ballot with the message: “#HireNehlen Save America #WI01.” Because of the law, a spokesman for the state elections commission, Reid Magney, said it discourages voters from posting these so-called “ballot selfies.”
“In past elections, we have advised voters against taking pictures of their ballots and posting them to social media because it has the potential to generate complaints under the election fraud law,” Magney said in an email statement. However, Magney said the Elections Commission lacks the authority to prosecute violations of the law. He said it would be up to a district attorney to determine whether to file charges.
A call to the District Attorney’s Office in Walworth County, which includes the Delavan area, was not immediately returned Tuesday night. Magney said the commission is not aware of anyone who has been charged with breaking the law.