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La Crosse’s 16 potential voter fraud cases reveal an unintentional mistake

Jordan Fremstad, WKBT News | Published on 5/31/2021

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The city of La Crosse referred 16 voters in La Crosse County to the district attorney’s office for potential voter fraud. Voter fraud happens, but it’s a pretty rare issue district attorneys deal with. Most cases revolve around one issue.

County leaders say voters need to provide their correct addresses to save them an intimidating phone call after they vote. Wisconsin election officials found 27 potential cases of voter fraud out of 3.3 million votes during the November general election in Wisconsin. Even though it’s small, voter fraud is a big deal according to La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke.

“It is a felony because you’re basically canceling someone else’s vote,” Gruenke said.The city of La Crosse represents a big piece of potential fraud. Here’s why — the city flagged 22 people who all have one thing in common. They all share the same address, 317 4th Street S. A simple google maps search takes you to a UPS Store downtown.

It sounds fishy but Gruenke said these people accidentally used their mailing address when they registered to vote.

“It turns out that most of them were retired couples that used the UPS Store as like a PO. Box so when they were vacationing – say down in Arizona they would get the mail forwarded to them from the UPS Store instead of their actual residence,” Gruenke said.

La Crosse city clerk Nikki Elsen said it’s easy for election officials to miss these addresses on election day, but the system caught them after the fact.

“These mailing addresses look like physical addresses,” Elsen said.