The Elections Commission says it hasn’t received any other reports of people illegally requesting others’ absentee ballots since news surfaced that conservative activist Harry Wait sought those of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Racine Mayor Cory Mason.
Ahead of a Wednesday meeting, agency staff provided an update for commissioners on efforts to mitigate the risk of unlawful ballot requests.
The materials don’t mention Wait by name. But they reference “the widely publicized and previously discussed reports” of attempts to illegally obtain absentee ballots ahead of the commission’s July 28 meeting.
Wait announced in late July that he sought the ballots to expose what he viewed as a vulnerability in the MyVote.wi.gov system because requesters could ask to have the absentee ballots sent to an address other than what was on file. The state Department of Justice later charged him with four counts, including two felonies.
The commission has maintained the system is no different than allowing people to request absentee ballots via email or fax and there are safeguards to prevent absentee ballots from being cast illegally. MyVote.wi.gov sends a message to local clerks when an absentee ballot is requested, and local officials process it.
Staff wrote no one has reported to the commission that someone else unlawfully cast a ballot in their name during the August primary.
The commission also sent 3,962 postcards to those who had requested an absentee ballot be sent to an address other than the one on file with their registration. The agency wrote in the materials several people who had been contacted confirmed the ballot mailing address. No one contacted the agency to report a fraudulent ballot request.
It cost $554 to create the postcards and $34 to mail them.
Staff didn’t believe additional postcards for the general election would identify other fraudulent requests.
See the meeting materials here.