Milwaukee County DA investigating voter fraud claims

CREATED Apr. 26, 2012

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MILWAUKEE- The Milwaukee County district attorney's office is investigating claims that three men broke the law last year when they registered and voted in the county.

Voter registration applications from three men who listed the Glendale Residence Inn as their address is what sparked this investigation. 

Search warrants obtained by TODAY'S TMJ4 shows the Milwaukee County district attorney's office is requesting paycheck stubs and bank statements from their home states to determine if they were and are legal Wisconsin residents.

The three including Austin Thompson, who was arrested last year during an occupy protest, are accused of voter fraud by registering and voting even though they lived in a hotel.

Rick Baas, the vice chairman of the Republican Party of Milwaukee County, says he's pleased the district attorney's office is finally taking the allegations seriously.  "It says the claims we've been making all along that voter fraud does take place and now we have a district attorney looking into it and we have a judge who believes there's probably cause to have this investigation go forward," said Baas.

Attorney Mike Maistelman deals with a lot of election cases.  He is not involved in this case, but says all the men have to prove is that they had intent on staying in the state.  "Merely living in a hotel doesn't disqualify someone from voting," argued Maistelman.  "Again, if this individual claims he had any belief he had a chance of getting a job after the election I think it's more difficult for the district attorney to go after him at that point."

Back in 2011, when the men registered, the law said you only had to live in the state for 10 days before the election.  That law has since changed to 28 days.

"We need to get our voter ID out of the courts and back to the local clerks so we can have
Good clean fair elections," said Rick Baas.

But Maistelman points out if the investigation reveals they voted in Wisconsin and their home states -- then the district attorney has a slam dunk.