Email from Reid Magney, public information officer of the Wisconsin Elections Commission:
I’m reading your LAT oped in which you say:
He was easily caught, well before Wisconsin passed its strict voter ID law.
Unfortunately, things are a bit more complicated. He was caught well after the law was passed but while it was enjoined. Here’s the details:
2011 Wisconsin Act 23 was signed by Gov. Walker on May 25, 2011. The photo ID provisions went into effect for the February 2012 Spring Primary. The photo ID provisions of the law were first enjoined in March 2012. According to the Journal-Sentinel:
Monroe cast two ballots in the April 2011 Supreme Court election, two in the August 2011 recall election of state Sen. Alberta Darling, five in the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker, one illegal ballot in an August 2012 primary and two ballots in the November 2012 presidential election.
I don’t know exactly when Monroe was “caught,” but charges were not filed until June 2014. I think it would be more correct to say the crimes were committed in elections both before the photo ID law was in effect and during the time it was enjoined by the courts. However, he also voted in Indiana using his driver license in November 2012, where that state’s law was in effect. I do not know whether Indiana ever pursued prosecution.
I’m also not sure how “easily” Monroe was caught, since investigators and prosecutors used DNA evidence from absentee ballot envelopes to prove it was he who sealed them rather than the voters he was impersonating. This earlier story discussed the DNA evidence: http://archive.jsonline.com/news/crime/shorewood-man-charged-with-13-counts-of-voter-fraud-b99297733z1-264322221.html.
Wisconsin has an excellent system designed to identify multiple registration and voting by the same person, which is how authorities first became aware of a suspicious absentee ballot request in the name of Monroe’s son in law. But it sounds like the case quickly became more complicated, crossing multiple jurisdictions and even involving a John Doe proceeding.
I appreciate the clarification and information!