High Error Rate in Milwaukee County Election Day Registrations Found

MacIver News Service | January 11, 2012

[Milwaukee, Wisc] A shocking new report by a Wisconsin Tea Party group raises serious questions about the diligence of poll workers in Milwaukee County.

The group, Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty, found errors on more than one third of all Election Day Registration forms completed for the April 5, 2011 election in Milwaukee County.

“We discovered 3,739 forms with errors,” said Larry Gamble, the groups’ spokesperson. “That 33.7% error rate is high enough to question the entire election process and raises doubts about having the accuracy and accountability required to properly manage elections.”

The study was performed by members of the self-described  pro-Constitution group between May and December, 2011.

The group did not examine existing registrations, early absentee and in-person, early absentee voting documents.

The report was released more than nine months after the election due to the volume of forms and the cost associated with properly redacting identifiable personal information.

The report indicates that of the 11,107 forms examined, 3,739 or 33.7% contained errors of some type. In 1,425 cases the election Registrar failed to annotate Proof of Residency of the voter.

Only one voter completing an Election Day Registration was required to cast a provisional ballot, the report notes.

“We were told this is the first time anyone has done this kind of post-election analysis in the County,” Gamble told MacIver News. “it just floored me to discover they don’t conduct routine quality control checks like this after the election.”

Some of the examples highlighted in the report include:

  • In the City of Milwaukee, Dist 1, a voter used only a magazine subscription invoice as proof of residence, then vouched for someone else’s residency.
  • 1,021 Election Day Registration forms in City of Milwaukee had the proof of residency left blank.
  • In Greenfield, a voter used their Ohio driver’s license and a passport as proof that they lived in Wisconsin. That same person then corroborated for someone else with the same last name and at the same address, who also only a had passport.
  • A voter used a Traffic Citation from the State of Illinois to prove Wisconsin Residency.
  • Several citizens moved to Milwaukee County and registered to vote using out of state drivers licenses for proof of residency. There is nothing on the registration form to indicate the Poll Worker saw anything else to substantiate the residency requirements.
  • Three individuals used hotel receipts to substantiate their proof of residency. Two also provided out of state drivers licenses and a third person used their military identification card to register and vote.
  • A citizen registered once using their WI Drivers License then returned to the polling location some time later and registered a second time using a utility bill. In both cases, this person voted. It was not caught by the municipality during their review of forms to update the state Voter Registration System. However, we turned this information over to the Milwaukee County District Attorney office.
  • Numerous citizens completed their voter registration forms and there was no indication that the Poll Worker verified the eligibility or identity of the person registering to vote.
  • Numerous corroborators failed to list their address on the registration form as required.

The researchers also found that more than 94 percent of all Election Day Registrants possessed an official photo identification, which although not a requirement in 2011, will be a requirement of voters from now on thanks to a new law passed last year.

The Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty is a nonpartisan 501(c)4 non-profit organization.