Voting twice

Wisconsin and Minnesota officials are investigating how some people voted in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, the Associated Press reports today.

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board compared its election data with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office and found several dozen cases in which voters voted twice.


In what are believed to be the first cases filed stemming from the investigation, two men from Menomonie, Wis. were charged late last week with election fraud. One was accused of voting in Wisconsin at the polls, and casting an absentee ballot in Lakeville, Minn. The other was accused of voting at precincts in both states.

It’s not too hard to figure out what happened by reading the AP story. Young people from Minnesota, already registered to vote at their parents’ home, went off to college and registered to vote in Wisconsin.

The only question remaining then is: How often does this happen?

Voting is a particularly archaic system. Each state has its own system and rules and without some method of automatically comparing data between the states, it would appear to be open for some abuse.

In 2004, Slate.com reported that 46,000 people were registered to vote in both New York and Florida. The Orlando Sentinel found 68,000 others registered in both Florida and North Carolina or Georgia.

  • John P.

    “6,000 people were registered to vote in both New York and Florida.”

    I find it hard to believe that many people are running from New York to Florida on election day in order to double vote.

  • davidz

    Is it a problem to be registered to vote in multiple locations?

    Clearly, voting in these multiple locations in the same election is a problem. But if I move from St Paul to Rochester tomorrow, and register to vote in the new precinct, how long will it be before my old precinct gets a notification and removes me from the roll?

    And what if I move out of state? The new state won’t send any notice to my old precinct (or state even, perhaps).

    So the issue of having some thousands of people registered to vote in multiple locations doesn’t seem out of line to me.

    The only real question I see is how many of them voted in those multiple locations?

  • John O.

    John, the story stated that one of the accused voted with an absentee ballot in Minnesota and then voted at the polls in Menomonie.

    It’s easy to see how a percentage of those 6,000 folks registered to vote in New York and Florida could vote in both states.