In operation for less than a month, the Elections Fraud Task Force filed its first charge Monday against voter registration worker Endalyn Adams yesterday, who faked approximately 27 registration forms.
According to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, Adams submitted 45 forms, 19 of which included nonexistent addresses and 22 that contained fraudulent driver’s license numbers.
In the criminal complaint, Adams admitted to falsifying the information and could now face up to three and a half years in jail with a $10,000 fine. Her reasoning was that she had to meet a daily quota of twelve to fifteen registration forms set up by her employer, the Community Voters Project, on top of a second job.
This is the first case of voter fraud found by the new task force, formed by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm in mid-September.
This also comes in the wake of Van Hollen’s lawsuit against the Government Accountability Board over new voter registration filed in mid-September, which aims to prevent voter fraud across the state.
However, not everyone sees voter fraud as a prevalent issue in the upcoming election, including Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Alec Loftus.
“Van Hollen and other Republicans are fabricating widespread stories of widespread voter fraud in an attempt to justify their baseless and politically motivated lawsuits,” Loftus said.
According to Loftus, this was not a case of fraudulent voting. The Community Voters Project was the one who reported the problem to the task force, after which Adams was promptly found and charged.
“Instead of spending time scaring and confusing voters with baseless lawsuits and fabricated stories of widespread voter fraud, Van Hollen should be working to ensure that every eligible voter has the right to cast his or her ballot,” Loftus said.
Van Hollen spokesperson Kevin St. John disagrees.
“The attorney general believes that voter fraud has no place in our democracy,” St. John said. “Those who commit electoral fraud will face severe criminal penalties.”
St. John denied that the case against Adams had any relation to the case against the Government Accountability Board, stating that voter fraud is always a problem and that confusion can result from the two organizations’ functions.
According to St. John, both the Government Accountability Board and election task force both have the same purpose — to make sure all votes count.
“The Government Accountability Board makes sure that the mechanisms created by state laws to prevent voter fraud are enacted,” St. John said. “The task force responds to complaints of actual fraud.”
Despite the commotion, Milwaukee Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf, the prosecutor in the Adams’ case, said this election year would be no worse than previous ones.
“Every election brings out a fair number of complaints, and we feel that this election will be no different,” Landgraf said. “We will investigate all complaints.”