Felons hired to register voters in Milwaukee
October 1, 2008
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At least seven felons have been hired by Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now to register voters in the Milwaukee region of Wisconsin. The felons had previously been convicted of robbery and cocaine possession. All seven were designated as special registration deputies, which allows them to solicit and keep voter registration applications before turning them in to local election officials. Along with the seven felons, court records show one special registration deputy has a pending felony charge for heroin possession and another is facing a misdemeanor prostitution charge. A third was convicted of misdemeanor prostitution.
Can felons be special registration deputies?
State law is unclear if it prohibits convicted felons from holding such a position. The law says anyone who can vote can be a special registration deputy, and felons can vote as long as they are no longer on probation or parole. But the attorney for the Government Accountability Board, which runs elections, issued an April 3 memo saying the board’s staff believed convicted felons couldn’t serve in the role.
The district attorney’s office is reviewing 49 cases submitted by city election officials where election law may have been violated. One person paid by the Community Voters Project was charged Monday with voter fraud.