In-Person and Mail-In Voting Are Both Safe in Wisconsin, Elections Commission Head Says



By Julian Emerson

October 15, 2020

Wisconsin election official says voters need not be concerned about voter fraud. 

As President Donald Trump continues to make unsubstantiated claims about mail-in voting fraud, Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe said protections are in place to ensure accurate voting on Election Day. 

During a recent interview, Wolfe said multiple safety measures are in place to guard against voter fraud. Among them are a statewide database that tracks voter registration and provisions that prevent people from voting multiple times. 

Since the 2016 election, in which questions surfaced about Russian hackers influencing the outcome, the state has made numerous upgrades to its voter system, Wolfe said, including cybersecurity measures intended to safeguard voting information. 

“It is a very controlled, deliberate process,” Wolfe said of tracking votes in Wisconsin, noting 1,850 election officials and about 30,000 election workers are diligent about their job. “We’ve made incredible strides in that area.”

Studies show instances of voter fraud are extremely low. While election experts say fraud surrounding mail-in ballots is slightly more common than in-person voting, the amount is so tiny that it isn’t statistically relevant, those reports show.   

Wolfe said mail-in ballots are reviewed closely by local election clerks and are measured against a statewide database to ensure against possible fraud. Barcodes on those ballots also are used as a safeguard and voters can track each step of the progress of their absentee ballots on the website. 

Once received by election clerks, ballots are stored in a secure location. Then, on Election Day, they are transported to the polling places where voters live and are counted there.

As of Oct. 14, voters had requested 1,384,184 ballots for the upcoming election, Wolfe said. Of those, 785,536 have been returned.

To ensure mail-in ballots are counted, election officials urge voters to send in mail-in ballots as soon as possible. Those ballots must be received by Election Day. People concerned about their ballots being lost in the mail can drop them off directly to clerks in their voting districts, or to secure collection sites in some parts of the state.  




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