MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Sixteen convicted felons have been charged with illegally voting in the 2020 presidential race in Wisconsin, a rate that’s on par with previous elections, the state elections commission said in a new report.
The report is the latest to show that there was not widespread fraud in Wisconsin, despite false claims by Donald Trump and his supporters. Trump narrowly won Wisconsin in 2016 and in 2020 President Joe Biden won by a similar margin. Biden’s win has been upheld following recounts, lawsuits, nonpartisan audits and other reviews.
To date in Wisconsin, voter fraud charges have been filed against 24 people in 12 different counties. Of those 24, 16 were allegedly felons who voted. Biden won the state by just under 21,000 votes. An Associated Press review of Wisconsin and other battleground states found there were not nearly enough cases of voter fraud to affect Biden’s win.
The felon voting report comes the week after an attorney hired by Republicans released the latest findings of his investigation that ignored many facts and called for lawmakers to look at decertifying Biden’s win, a move GOP leaders have said they won’t make and that nonpartisan attorneys have repeatedly said is unconstitutional.
The number of cases of felons voting referred to district attorneys was less than 0.003% of the nearly 3.3 million ballots cast in the 2020 election, the commission said in a report prepared for its meeting Wednesday. To date, none of them have been convicted, the report said.
In 2016, the number of cases referred to prosecutors was also just under 0.003% of the total voters.
The latest report is required to be done under Wisconsin law and is performed after every election that has a state or federal position on the ballot. The audit involves comparing voters who cast a ballot with the list of people under Department of Corrections supervision for a felony conviction at the time the vote was cast.
The matches are first reviewed by the Department of Corrections, then by municipal clerks where the voting occurs and finally by Wisconsin Elections Commission staff before cases are referred to county district attorneys for their own investigation.
In 2020, 94 cases were referred to district attorneys. Of those, 16 were charged and 15 remain pending. The elections commission report did not say what happened to the one case, but there have not been any convictions. Fifty-one cases remain under investigation and in 28 cases no charges were filed.
There were seven people charged in Milwaukee County, two in Fond du Lac County and one each in Chippewa, Jefferson, Manitowoc, Marquette, Sauk, Vernon and Washington counties, according to the report.
The audit is the last check in identifying potential illegal voting by felons, the state elections commission said.