Green Bay City Clerk’s Office Allegedly Kept Ineligible People on Voter Rolls

Three registered voters in Green Bay, Wisconsin, have filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) alleging that City Clerk Celestine Jeffreys has consistently failed to inactivate people who registered to vote on Election Day using what turned out to be undeliverable addresses.

As proof, the complainants presented data compiled from WEC reports and information provided by Ms. Jeffreys.

For the past nine election days in the state, from the 2020 primary through the 2023 spring election, the Green Bay City Clerk’s Office inactivated the voter registrations of only two people out of 270 that, pursuant to statute, should have been removed from the voter rolls, the complaint states.

When contacted for comment, Ms. Jeffreys referred The Epoch Times to City Attorney Joanne Bungert, who did not return a phone call.

Ms. Jeffreys has served as city clerk since being appointed in January 2021, following the resignation of Kris Teske in the wake of controversy surrounding the 2020 presidential election.

Stringent Standards, Questionable Law

“Beyond a reasonable doubt” is the required standard applied in determining that an address is undeliverable, according to state law.

Wisconsin city clerks are also required by state law to refer to the county district attorney all Election Day registrants who used an undeliverable address to vote.

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The Green Bay city clerk’s office referred just one of the 270 proven instances for possible prosecution.

In the 2020 presidential election, 3,497 people registered to vote in Green Bay on Election Day. Of those, 170 (4.9 percent) were later proven to be ineligible, yet, under the Wisconsin law that permits post-election address verification, they were allowed to vote, their ballots were counted, and the results were certified.

None of the 170 violators were inactivated as voters or referred to the district attorney’s office by the Green Bay city clerk’s office, according to the evidence presented in the complaint.

It is legal for a person to register and vote on Election Day in the Badger State. However, the individual must provide documentary proof of residence and affirm in writing that he or she has been a resident for at least 28 days preceding the election.

Following the counting of the ballots and the certification of the election, Wisconsin law requires an “audit” of every person who registered to vote on Election Day. Local officials must enter their names into a state list and WEC is then mandated to send the person a first class informational postcard.

If the postcard is returned to the local election office as undeliverable, the clerk must conduct an investigation to ensure the person had not moved between registering on Election Day and the mailing of the postcards; make certain that there was no typographical error; and confirm that no mistake was made by the U.S. Postal Service.

If no acceptable explanation is found, the clerk must change the status of the elector from eligible to ineligible on the registration list and then mail the elector a notice of the status change, and the elector’s name must be turned over to the county district attorney to determine whether an election crime has been committed.

Residents cast their ballots during in-person absentee voting at City Hall in Green Bay, Wis., on Nov. 4, 2022. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Residents cast their ballots during in-person absentee voting at City Hall in Green Bay, Wis., on Nov. 4, 2022. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The complaint alleges that Ms. Jeffreys failed to consistently do those things.

Clerks must provide WEC with a report of their actions within 90 days of an election. State law requires the postcard data to be published.

The three plaintiffs are represented by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), a nonprofit organization dedicated solely to fighting for election integrity.

Just ‘Follow the Law’

In an April 8 press release, PILF President J. Christian Adams said the city of Green Bay is ignoring Wisconsin law by failing to investigate whether voters are using improper addresses to register to vote on Election Day.

“Election Day registrations must have safeguards that ensure eligibility to vote. In Wisconsin, that only happens after their vote has already been counted, if it happens at all,” he stated. “This complaint seeks to require the law to be followed so that any bad actor knows there will be consequences for abusing the Election Day voter registration process.”

In a guidance memo to clerks dated Feb. 9, 2023, the Wisconsin Election Commission affirmed that the above-mentioned statutory requirements regarding Election Day registration are mandatory and must be performed.

Records obtained by the plaintiffs show that in Green Bay, during the 2023 spring primary and 2023 spring election, 25 people voted from addresses later proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be undeliverable.

Ms. Jeffreys changed the voting status of none of them to inactivated and referred only one to county prosecutors.

During the 2022 midterms, 3,433 people registered to vote on Election Day, of which 49 were later proven to have voted from undeliverable addresses. Zero were inactivated or referred to the Brown County District Attorney by Ms. Jeffreys, according to the evidence.

WEC is reviewing the current complaint to determine if sufficient proof exists to warrant further investigation.

This is not the first run-in with WEC by Ms. Jeffreys. In late 2023, in response to a citizen’s complaint, WEC found that her policy of handling absentee ballots was incorrect and likely violated state law.

PILF researchers also found that, since November 2020, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has refused to review 354 referrals involving potential unlawful Election Day registrations.

“When election officials like Green Bay Clerk Jeffreys and the Milwaukee County district attorney fail to enforce the law and investigate registrants who cast potentially invalid ballots using Election Day registration, there is no deterrence to stop others from committing election crimes,” PILF stated.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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