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As I See It

Dozens voted illegally, but did nothing wrong



Those who claim that our system of voting is ripe with fraud may be pointing to a new report which finds some people voted illegally in Wisconsin as proof of their claims. But once again, they would be wrong. A report the state Elections Commission will submit to the legislature finds there were some 60 cases of people voting in last fall’s primary and general elections who were not yet of legal voting age. Were these people trying to rig our elections, as some have claimed? No. These were 17 year olds who wanted to be part of our democracy, to have their voice heard. What they did hear, on social media and elsewhere, is that people could vote in the primary election if they would be turning 18 by the November election. That may be true in some states, but not in Wisconsin. These teens didn’t know that, and showed up to vote, having been told they could. That was the case for one La Crosse county teen, who voted despite not yet being of legal age. But he freely told the poll workers he was 17, so he told no lies. The La Crosse District Attorney wisely is not prosecuting the case, telling Wizzum this voter truly believed he was eligible, and did not attempt to circumvent the process. The real mistake made here was by a poll worker, who should not have let him vote. But while some may see the headline that 60 17 year olds voted in Wisconsin as proof our elections are rigged, the truth is our election system works, and when it doesn’t, we catch those not eligible to cast a ballot.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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