The Republican Party in Wisconsin finally has a case of voter fraud that they can point to as evidence of wrong-doing. For so long they have been preaching that a voter ID law was needed in Wisconsin due to the fraud that was taking place at elections.
When news operations and blogs such as this one asked where those cases could be found, what legal process was underway to seek justice, what judges were hearing the cases, and what the attorney general was doing about the many cases that were piling up around the state…….well there was silence.
Fact is voter fraud is not really running like a wildfire through the state.
But that does not stop the embarrassment for the Republican Party.
While there are not scores of election fraud cases to talk about in Wisconsin, and certainly not enough to warrant the law that was passed and signed last year, there is one very high profile case that is bearing down on a key player in the Republican-controlled state assembly.
The Racine County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a voter fraud complaint against Burlington-area Republican Rep. Robin Vos’ estranged wife, allegations that Vos said are politically motivated.
The complaint alleges that Vos’ wife Samantha, from whom he is legally separated, committed voter fraud by casting a Wisconsin ballot during a time that court records list her as a resident of Idaho.
Former Democratic Assembly candidate Roberta Retrum, of Eagle River, drove five hours to file the complaint in person at the district attorney’s office Friday.
Retrum is treasurer for the Vilas County Democratic Party, and said she also participates in the daily “Solidarity Sing-a-long” pro-union musical protests at the state Capitol.
The issue at hand—defining residency for the purposes of voting—will be appraised by an investigator at the sheriff’s department.
State election laws define a person’s residence as a “fixed habitation,” but note that a voter does not lose residency if he or she is absent–for example, outside the state–so long as the voter intends to return.
Vos said he and his wife consulted with attorneys who concluded that her vote was legal.
But Retrum said she was acting out of concern that voter fraud was a possibility. “One way or another she’s guilty of something,” Retrum said, adding that because Samantha Vos stated she was a resident of Idaho in legal documents filed this May, but voted in Wisconsin around that same time, “Either she committed perjury over there or she voted illegally here.”