A former election official was convicted of voter fraud after pleading guilty to submitting more than 50 false voter registration forms in the 2008 election, according to the Department of Justice.
Frank Walton, a former Special Registration Deputy in Milwaukee, plead guilty Thursday to falsifying voter registration forms in June and July of 2008.
According to the DOJ, Walton submitted 70 forms as an election official in those two months but 53 turned out to contain false information, such as vacant addresses or addresses of commercial businesses.
Walton faces up to three and a half years in jail and a $10,000 fine at his sentencing hearing in December, according to the DOJ.
Walton is one of several individuals recently accused of voter fraud in Milwaukee.
The DOJ filed felony charges against five individuals in Milwaukee in March accused of voter fraud, including two employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
Multiple employees of ACORN, a group that works to improve communication among minorities and low-income communities, were indicted across the country for voter fraud following the 2004 and 2008 elections.
However, Charles Franklin, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin, does not believe these incidents represent a larger trend toward voter fraud in Wisconsin.
“I think the question is whether six or seven convictions, though they demonstrate that there are fraudulent votes cast, but when you look at the cases, they don’t seem to cluster around any group or organization, they seem to be more individuals who for whatever freakish reason decide to vote twice,” Franklin said.
Meanwhile, most cases of voter fraud are not as large-scale as Walton’s crime.
According to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice, most cases of alleged voter fraud in Wisconsin in previous years have been cases of individuals double-voting, and in many cases even that turned out to be a clerical error.
This type of small-scale voting is not enough to sway the course of events, according to Franklin.
“Why any individual would take any kind of risk to vote fraudulently a second time is, just as a rational matter, insane, because the chance that you will affect an election outcome is so vanishingly small,” Franklin said.