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Sheriff's Dave's Tangled Web

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Oh, what a tangled web we weave..

MacIver reports that the controversy over the Dane County Sheriff''s department handling of voting by felons continues to grow even as Sheriff Dave Mahoney's explanations become more tortured .


MacIver News Service | October 15, 2012

[Madison, Wisc...] The Dane County Sheriff says media reports regarding absentee voting in his jail are wrong and that the state Department of Justice won't let him run background checks on inmates who seek absentee ballots.

However, a spokesperson for the Attorney General says they've told him no such thing.

Mahoney told the MacIver News Service that he wanted to be proactive and run all inmates through the Criminal Information Bureau records to determine their status before absentee voting began. However, the Department of Justice told him it is illegal to use the CIB system for that purpose.

"The sheriff did send a letter about specific absentee voting processes," said Dana Brueck, Department of Justice Communications Officer. "We are in the process of reviewing it, but haven't responded yet."

The Department spokesperson could not confirm Sheriff Mahoney had received any guidance from DOJ on the matter.

"I checked with the people in the Crime Information Bureau and no one there said they've spoken with him," Brueck said.

Mahoney says his deputies have a delicate task in preventing felony inmates from voting while not violating state law.

Earlier this month, Milwaukee radio talk show host Charlie Sykes reported that Dane County Sheriff Lt. Mark Twombly sent a memo to subordinates regarding inmates voting absentee.

"Inmates have begun to request to have absentee ballots sent to them while incarcerated so they can vote. It is going to be up to their polling location to research whether they are allowed to vote based on their criminal record, not the DCSO," the memo read.

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