Election officials urge voters not to vote twice
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- President Donald Trump urged his supporters to show up at the polls on Election Day to make sure their absentee ballots had been counted, and if they weren't sure, to vote.
But that would lead to a double vote, which is a felony in Wisconsin.
Election inspectors would likely deny a second ballot.
"Send in your early ballot and then go and make sure that ballot is tabulated or counted, and if it's not counted, vote," said President Donald Trump.
"Do not show up and try to vote a second time," said Milwaukee Election Commission Director Claire Woodall-Vogg.
She said election inspectors have a list of absentee ballot requests at the ready, because people do forget they've already voted.
If they try again, "Our election inspectors will be directed to challenge that ballot," said Woodall-Vogg, so it can be removed from the final results if an absentee ballot has already been counted. A similar process occurs if someone returns an absentee ballot after voting in person.
"We would have a process in place to remove your ballot from the election results on the absentee side," said Woodall-Vogg.
"It's a class I felony," said Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney.
He said there have been cases of double voting through the years. The Heritage Foundation's election fraud map lists nine such cases over ten years in Wisconsin.
"The system is not entirely foolproof, but when it does happen we're able to identify those right after the election and those are referred for prosecution," said Magney.
In one recent case, court records show a man in Wood County spent 30 days in jail and paid over $1,100 in fines. He had a good lawyer. The maximum penalty is three and a half years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Absentee ballots will start being mailed out Sept. 17.
Voters can check whether their election clerk has received their marked ballot by calling the election clerk, or checking this website.