MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Sixteen people who registered to vote using the address of a UPS Store in western Wisconsin will not be charged with voter fraud because the prosecutor said Wednesday that they did not intend to break the law.
The voters accounting for more than half of the 27 potential voter fraud cases out of nearly 3.3 million votes cast in the November 2020 presidential election that local election officials flagged for prosecutors to review. No charges have been brought against any of them.
La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke said Wednesday that all 16 of the people identified in La Crosse were legitimate Wisconsin voters who had registered to vote using a Wisconsin driver’s license, Wisconsin identification card or bank statement showing they lived in La Crosse.
Wisconsin law requires people to register at the address where they live and not necessarily where they receive mail.
One of the voters registered at the UPS Store because she was homeless, Gruenke said. Most of the others are retirees who use the UPS Store to have their mail forwarded to them while they are on vacation, Gruenke said.
“The few people we could not reach by phone are in their 60s, married, and I’m assuming fit the same pattern, so we decided it was not an intentional plan to fraudulently vote,” Gruenke told the Journal Sentinel.
Wisconsin Republicans have ordered the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau to review the election and last week Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he was hiring three retired police officers to investigate the election. One of them has ties to the Republican Party.
President Joe Biden defeated former President Donald Trump by about 20,600 votes in Wisconsin, an outcome that was upheld following a partial recount and multiple failed lawsuits from Trump and his supporters. Republicans are pushing for law changes that would make it more difficult to vote absentee, but Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has promised to veto anything that creates obstacles to voting.