MacIver News Service | June 3, 2019
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON, Wis. — Nearly 1,000 cases of potential Election Day registration fraud were referred to district attorneys in Wisconsin following the 2016 general election, as MacIver News Service reported in June 2018.
And thousands more voters could not be located or verified, according to data from the state Elections Commission.
Despite growing concerns over voter integrity, Democratic Party activists want to get rid of proof-of-address requirements to register to vote.
Dem delegates on Sunday narrowly approved a resolution 39-36 that “no ‘proof of physical address’ other than spoken or written” should be “required for any voter registration or voting.”
The resolution was among several passed at the at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin state convention held this past weekend at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee.
The resolution also would allow voters to complete a change of address online or by phone.
It’s a move, Democrats say, to root out the “voter suppression” they insist is baked into Wisconsin’s elections laws.
State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, vice chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Campaigns and Elections, called the resolution “foolish,” and asserts it’s part of an overall drive by liberals to expand voting rights to illegal immigrants and non-eligible voters.
“What it is doing is wearing down our American citizenship so that it really means nothing,” the New Berlin Republican said. “It’s the law-abiding citizens who should have the say in our elections, not people who break the law.”
Under Wisconsin law, individuals registering to vote must provide proof of residence.
“A Proof of Residence document is a document that a voter provides with their voter registration. A proof of residence document proves where the voter lives,” states MyVote.wi.gov, Wisconsin’s election information site.
Proof of residence documentation is required for those registering to vote by mail, in-person at a county clerk’s office, or at a polling station on election day. Voters do not need to provide proof of residence when registering online through MyVote — if their names, addresses, Wisconsin driver’s licenses or ID numbers, and date of birth match the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicle’s database.
Wisconsin is among 35 states with voter ID laws. Democrats and liberal activists have tried to do away with that law, too.
The Wisconsin Democratic Party’s Automatic Voter Registration resolution insists, “Registration and voting is (sic) suppressed by picture ID and by proof of residence 29 days prior (to an election)” and that “poor access to clerks in rural areas creates more suppression.” They want “Point of contact” automatic voter registration.
It’s the same kind of language included in a Democrat-led House election bill that passed in March along party lines. U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), the bill’s sponsor, earlier this year told NPR the legislation is about promoting democracy.
“We heard loud and clear from the American people,” he said. “They feel left out and locked out from their own democracy.”
Jessica Anderson, Vice President of Heritage Action for America, the lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation, in March told the Daily Signal that the bill is a political tool Democrats are using to advance a far-left agenda. She called HR 1, as the bill is titled, a “progressive power grab.”
“Although Democrats are promoting HR 1 as a bill that would ‘strengthen our democracy and return political power to the people,’ it is an anti-democratic bill that would wreak havoc on our election system by manipulating election rules in favor of Democrats,” Anderson said.
Among the bill’s myriad problems, conservatives assert, is that it would make it much easier for gamers of the system to commit voter fraud through same-day registration. Doing so would give election officials little time to verify the accuracy of voter registration information, they say. The bill includes no criminal penalty for anyone who falsely registers to vote.
HR 1, also known as the “For the People Act,” defends local governments that allow illegal immigrants to vote in their elections. It was a mostly symbolic gesture. Noncitizens are prohibited to participate in federal elections. San Francisco has opened up voting eligibility to illegal immigrants in its school board elections, however.
The bill doesn’t appear to stand a chance in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Wisconsin’s top Democrat, Gov. Tony Evers, included an initiative in his budget proposal that would allow people living in the country illegally to obtain driver’s licenses. The Legislature’s budget-writing committee, led by Republicans, has removed that measure from its budget document.