Wednesday, October 10, 2012
In a battleground state where voter fraud has been an issue in previous presidential elections, one leading county sheriff is saying his office won’t stop ineligible felon voters from casting a ballot. An internal memo from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office instructed deputies and other staff assigned to the county jail to facilitate the absentee ballot requests of inmates. Sent from Lt. Mark Twombly, the memo specifically instructed law enforcement officials to not check on the felony status of inmates and to help everyone vote regardless of their criminal record. In Wisconsin an individual serving jail time for a felony or under parole or supervision for a felony may not cast a ballot.
Checking on whether or not an inmate is a felon would require a quick and simple check of the county law enforcement’s computer system. “It is going to be up to their polling location to research whether they are allowed to vote based on their criminal record, not the DCSO [Dane County Sheriff’s Office],” Twombly wrote in a memo distributed to staff.
The decision by the sheriff’s office to ignore felon status for inmate voters means that law enforcement officials will not be working to prevent further legal violations on the part of those in their custody.