One might think that the misinformation campaign was intentional.
The state saw at least 60 cases of 17-year-olds voting illegally during the 2016 spring primaries, according to a report the Elections Commission will submit to the Legislature.
Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney said that was a significant increase from prior elections, which had seen only a handful of these cases.
The report, which commissioners will review at their meeting tomorrow, notes some political campaigns “were providing false information” that indicated 17-year-olds could vote in the April primary if they turned 18 by the November general election. Other states let teenage voters do so but “the answer is clearly no in Wisconsin,” the report says.
The report also highlighted other cases of potential voter fraud or irregularities, including at least 16 cases of people voting twice in the same election or felons voting despite being under Department of Corrections supervision. The report looked at anything between June 30, 2016, and Feb. 15, 2017, and includes cases in both the primary and general elections.
Magney attributed the increase in 17-year-olds voting illegally to a “perfect storm” of false information on social media and high interest in the April presidential primaries. Magney said people can register to vote before they’re 18, but cannot vote until they hit that age.