Wisconsin

Articles about voting issues in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin: DOJ: Project Veritas tape did not show election law violations | Milwaukee Journal-Serntinel

Covert videos of Democratic activists released in the run-up to last year’s presidential election showed no violations of Wisconsin laws, a review by the attorney general’s office found. The blunt conclusion is at odds with how Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel initially reacted to the videos by conservative provocateur James O’Keefe, who has a track record of mischaracterizing his recordings and was found guilty of a misdemeanor in 2010 over one of his operations. Schimel’s office released a statement in October calling the actions by Democrats on the undercover videos “apparent violations of the law” and saying Schimel was “very concerned” about them. Read More

Wisconsin: GOP Legislature Calls Redistricting Ruling Dangerous | Associated Press

Attorneys for the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to uphold GOP-drawn legislative boundaries, saying a ruling that found them to be unconstitutional was “dangerously” wrong. The filing comes in support of separate and similar arguments made by Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel in his appeal of a three-judge panel’s ruling last year striking down the maps. The judges ordered new maps to be drawn by November, saying the current ones amounted to unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering favoring Republicans. It was the first ruling of its kind after decades of legal battles over redistricting. Read More

Wisconsin: Late absentee ballots more than doubled after deadline moved up | Wisconsin State Journal

The number of late absentee ballots that weren’t counted in last fall’s presidential election more than doubled from 2012 after lawmakers moved up their return deadline by three days, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The increase — from 498 in the 2012 presidential election to 1,208 last fall — isn’t surprising given the change in law, and the number of ballots that weren’t counted is still “extremely small” given the more than 813,000 absentee ballots and nearly 3 million total ballots cast, WEC spokesman Reid Magney said. The State Journal reported on the little-known change in law in October. As recently as the August primary the law allowed absentee ballots to be counted if they were postmarked by Election Day and received by the next Friday. Read More

Wisconsin: Bill would have prevented Jill Stein’s Wisconsin recount | Associated Press

A proposal to limit election recounts that’s up for a hearing Wednesday would have prevented Jill Stein’s Wisconsin recount and increased public trust in the election system, one Republican lawmaker said. “We need to make sure people aren’t using elections as a political tool,” the bill’s author, Sen. Devin LeMahieu, said at a Senate Committee on Elections and Utilities hearing. The bill from LeMahieu and GOP Rep. Ron Tusler would only allow candidates in statewide elections who trail the leading candidate by 1 percent or less of the total number of votes to petition for a recount. Had the bill been in place in November, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who lost to Republican Donald Trump by a margin of less than 1 percent in Wisconsin, would have been able to petition for a recount. But not Stein. She came in fourth but raised more than $3.5 million to fund Wisconsin’s recount. The state’s election commission later refunded Stein $1.5 million after costs were less than estimated. Read More

Wisconsin: Attorney General appeals redistricting case | Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a ruling that overturned the state’s Republican-drawn legislative districts. In a first-of-its kind decision last year, a panel of federal judges ruled Wisconsin’s legislative map was a partisan gerrymander that was “intended to burden the rights of Democratic voters” by making it harder for them to translate votes into legislative seats. In a separate order issued earlier this year, the court told lawmakers to redraw the map by Nov. 1 so it would be ready for the 2018 general election. Read More

Wisconsin: Elections Commission warns of significant staff cuts | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

With federal funds about to run out, the Wisconsin Elections Commission asked lawmakers Tuesday to stave off what would be a 28% staffing cut in just over two years. A federal grant is running out for the agency, which relies on that stream of money to fund 22 of its 32 positions. GOP Gov. Scott Walker has set aside $2.5 million in new state tax dollars in his two-year budget to retain 16 of those positions. But six positions would still disappear, amounting to a 28% staffing cut in an agency that has already seen job losses since 2015. “We are concerned that such a significant staffing reduction will mean that the agency will not be able to adequately carry out the duties and responsibilities assigned to it under federal and state laws,” said Jodi Jensen, a Republican who sits on the commission. Read More

Wisconsin: Election officials setting stage to remove hundreds of thousands of names from the voting rolls | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin election officials are setting the stage to remove hundreds of thousands of people from the voting rolls because they have died, moved or not voted in the past four years. The voters will be notified and will have a chance to keep themselves registered to vote. Wisconsin Elections Commission approved the plan Tuesday to send postcards to up to nearly 800,000 voters by June to tell them they will be removed from the voter rolls if they don’t update their information. Also Tuesday, the commission certified to the Legislature that it has put in place a new system allowing people to use an online portal to register to vote, provided they have a valid Wisconsin driver’s license or state ID card. The system is for registering only and voters still have to cast ballots at the polls, in clerks’ offices or by mail. Read More

Wisconsin: 17-year-olds voted illegally in Wisconsin primary | Associated Press

Dozens of 17-year-olds voted illegally across Wisconsin during last spring’s intense presidential primary, apparently wrongly believing they could cast ballots if they turned 18 ahead of the November general election, according to a new state report. Wisconsin Elections Commission staff examined voter fraud referrals municipal clerks said they made to prosecutors following the 2016 spring primary and general elections. The commission is set to approve the findings during a meeting Tuesday and forward a report to the Legislature. Read More

Wisconsin: Attorney General appeals redistricting ruling | Associated Press

Wisconsin’s Republican attorney general filed an appeal Friday with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a ruling striking down GOP-drawn legislative boundaries as unconstitutional. Brad Schimel had said he would appeal since a panel of judges last month struck down the maps and ordered the Republican-controlled Legislature to draw new boundaries. The judges ordered that new maps be drawn by November so they would be in place for the 2018 election. Democrats who challenged the maps are calling on the Legislature to move quickly to draw new ones. But Schimel and Republicans don’t want to do that unless the Supreme Court requires it. Read More

Wisconsin: Federal appeals court could reinstate Wisconsin’s early voting limits | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Three federal judges expressed deep skepticism Friday over claims that Wisconsin Republicans had deliberately made it harder for minorities to vote, raising the prospect they would reinstate limits on early voting. Judge Frank Easterbrook of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said those challenging Wisconsin’s voting laws were contending that Democrats can expand voting rules to help their party at the polls but Republicans can’t tighten them to their advantage. “That can’t be right,” he said during arguments in a pair of Wisconsin cases. His colleagues on the panel — Judges Michael Kanne and Diane Sykes — showed they had just as many doubts about lower court rulings that struck down voting rules set by GOP Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers. Read More