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Wisconsin election fraud charge issued from November 2022 general election

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//May 16, 2024//

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Wisconsin election fraud charge issued from November 2022 general election

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//May 16, 2024//

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On Wednesday, Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric J. Toney announced that Martin C. Kehl has been charged with one count of felony election fraud – voting as a disqualified person in the November 2022 general election.

Kehl is alleged to have been on felony probation for an OWI 4th offense in Dodge County case no. 20CF186. Kehl is also alleged to have registered in person on election day, November 8, 2022, and then voting. Kehl’s initial appearance is scheduled for Tuesday June 11, 2024 at 9 a.m. in Fond du Lac County Intake Court.

“We will continue to prosecute those that threaten the security of our elections to help ensure the public has confidence in our election results. In Fond du Lac County, we saw a City Council race decided by four votes this past April and races in other areas of the state have ended in a tie. These violations are rare, in comparison to the total number of votes cast but it’s crucial to defend our elections based on razor thin margins we see, especially in local non-partisan races where one or two votes could decide an election,” Toney said.

According to the criminal compliant obtained by the Wisconsin Law Journal, on Oct. 25, 2023 the defendant was interviewed at the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office, which was recorded. During the interview the defendant acknowledged he was convicted of a felony offense in April of 2021.

The defendant stated there was piece of paper with a box on the top that asked if he was a felon. A detective showed the defendant a copy of the Voter Registration Application and went over the boxes with the defendant, showing him the box indicating “are not currently serving a sentence including parole, probation, or extended supervision for a felony conviction” was checked.

According to authorities, election officials have a felon list, created by the Department of Corrections, at polling locations to compare with absentee ballots and Election Day activities. This list is only for those felons serving a sentence that reside in that clerk’s voting jurisdiction. Wisconsin law also requires the Wisconsin Election Commission to review the felon list and compare it to votes cast in an election. The Commission then refers violations to district attorneys for prosecution. These measures protect the integrity of elections by deterring election fraud and providing accountability for violations.

According to Toney, the single count is a Class I Felony, which allows for a fine of not more than $10,000 dollars or imprisoned not more than three years and six months, or both.

CHAPTER 301: CORRECTIONS

301.03  General corrections authority. The department shall:

301.03(20m) Transmit to the elections commission, on a continuous basis, a list containing the name of each living person who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of this state and whose civil rights have not been restored, together with his or her residential address and the date on which the department expects his or her civil rights to be restored.

6.79  Recording electors.

 CHAPTER 6: THE ELCTORS

 (2) Voting procedure

 6.79(2)(dm) If the poll list indicates that the elector is ineligible to vote because the elector’s name appears on the current list provided by the department of corrections under s. 301.03 (20m), the inspectors shall inform the elector of this fact. If the elector maintains that he or she is eligible to vote in the election, the inspectors shall provide the elector with a ballot and, after the elector casts his or her vote, shall challenge the ballot as provided in s. 6.92 and treat the ballot in the manner provided in s. 6.95.

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