by Jake Dima
Wisconsin Republicans alleged that thousands may have skirted a voter identification requirement when casting their ballots in the battleground state, according to a Tuesday Washington Examiner report.
The state allows residents to classify themselves “indefinitely confined,” meaning the person is largely limited to his or her home due to age, disability or other factors, a GOP official told the Examiner. The classification requires a witness signature, but under it, voters can cast an absentee ballot without showing valid ID, the Examiner reported.
A total of 243,000 people classified themselves as “indefinitely confined” in 2020 compared to 72,000 in 2019 in the state, according to the Examiner. A local county clerk previously said those who were subject to Wisconsin’s coronavirus lockdown orders would meet the threshold to be considered home-bound, but the state supreme court in March sided against the clerk and clarified that his legal advice was misguided, Courthouse News Service reported.
The court did not indicate that it would take action to investigate or invalidate anyone who registered under the clerk’s guidelines, according to Courthouse News Service.
“At what point does it become fraud? I think it became fraud in April, when people were listing themselves as indefinitely confined when they were not,” a GOP official told the Examiner. “And that was just allowed to continue and get worse and worse.”
“We know there are people who are indefinitely confined,” he continued. “That’s what the law was put in place for, but they left a loophole which you could drive a truck through.”
GOP officials have offered no concrete evidence of the alleged violations.
"Did Thousands Lie About 'Indefinite Confinement' to Avoid Voter ID Law?" https://t.co/mhMAalx57K
— Wisconsin GOP (@wisgop) November 10, 2020
Waukesha County Republican Party board member Kenneth Dragotta said the confinement mishap may have compromised a “robust, safe election process.”
“So you can register as indefinitely confined, and a ballot is going to be sent to you every election. You don’t even have to request it,” he told the Examiner. “But here’s the problem. Indefinitely confined people are not required to provide proof of identification or an ID card. There’s no requirement that that be in the hands of the election commission or the municipal clerk prior to issuing a ballot.”
“You don’t even have a voter ID requirement on those people that registered,” he continued. “All you have is proof of residency that is required. But does that sound like a really robust, safe election process? I think not.”
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Secretary of State office, Republican National Committee and the Wisconsin Elections Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation at the time of publishing.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump 49.45% to 48.83% in Wisconsin with a roughly 20,000 vote margin, according to the New York Times Election map, which claims the state has calculated over 98% of its total ballots cast.
Trump’s administration reportedly asked for a recount in the battleground state Wednesday due to unspecified “irregularities” in “several” areas, the Associated Press reported.
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Jake Dima is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Voting Sign” by Lorie Shaull. CC BY-SA 2.0.