Photo by Saiyna Bashir, The Capital Times

The La Crosse County DA has decided not to press charges over potential voter fraud issues, saying his investigation showed there was no intent to break the law.

The Elections Commission noted 22 instances of individuals improperly using a UPS Store address when registering to vote and one instance of someone potentially voting twice in the same election for two different municipalities.

La Crosse County DA Tim Gruenke told 16 of the 22 improper addresses voted in 2020. And of those 16, he said most were La Crosse residents who wintered in southern states and used the UPS address to forward mail.

They listed the store on their ballot applications even though Gruenke later confirmed they had legitimate addresses within the county.

Gruenke added the double voting case was from a UW-La Crosse student who originally voted absentee by mail. But after assuming her ballot wouldn’t make it through the mail in time to count, she registered and voted in person in La Crosse.

He said her absentee vote likely wasn’t counted as it was mailed late but that his office would look into it.

“We’d have to prove an intentional violation and it’s clearly a case of confusion and a young kid not knowing for sure which way to go,” he said. “We get very few referrals. But a lot of the referrals we get are in some way explained away.”

Gruneke is one of the DAs the Wisconsin Elections Commission included in a report listing possible cases of voter fraud in the 2020 general election that local clerks had referred to prosecutors. The commission also listed referrals in Milwaukee, Brown, St. Croix, Langlade, Columbia, Jackson and Waukesha counties.

Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Joshua Mathy told the one instance of alleged voter fraud in Milwaukee is currently under investigation. But he says his office has yet to decide whether to press charges.

“As with any election matter, we will follow the law and carefully review whether evidence supports proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred, and whether there exists proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a voter knowingly committed election fraud,” Mathy said.

Langlade County DA Elizabeth Gebert said her office referred the investigation to local police. She said she will consider following up with charges once police finish their investigation.

One voter in Langlade County allegedly voted twice in the same election in two different municipalities, according to a WEC report.

The Elections Commission also reported one case of someone voting twice in two different municipalities in the same election in St. Croix County. DA Karl Anderson declined to give details other than saying his office was investigating the matter but hadn’t yet decided whether to press charges.

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