As attorney general, my priorities for this fall’s election are to protect Wisconsin voters’ right to vote safely and to ensure that every lawfully cast ballot is counted. And I want Wisconsinites to know that they can be confident that this election is free, fair, and secure and that the outcomes of the races on the ballot will reflect the will of the voters.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) is working with the Wisconsin Elections Commission and other agencies to make sure that you are safe when you cast your ballot. DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation staffs the Wisconsin Statewide Intelligence Center (WSIC), which facilitates intelligence and information sharing with federal, state, local, tribal, and campus law enforcement partners, along with fire service, emergency management, public health, military, and private-sector agencies. WSIC is prepared to identify significant threats to Wisconsin elections, including any threats of election interference, foreign or domestic.
Voter intimidation is a crime, and anybody who tries to engage in it should be prepared to be investigated and prosecuted and to spend time behind bars.
Wisconsin law prohibits people from using or threatening force to compel someone to vote, to keep them from voting, or to influence their voting decision. Wisconsin law also prohibits anyone from using duress or fraud to impede or prevent someone from freely exercising their right to vote. The law not only prohibits individuals from taking any of these actions personally, but it also prohibits individuals from having a third party take these actions.
Voter intimidation can take many forms, and determining if any particular action is voter intimidation is dependent on the facts of the incident. Examples of voter intimidation could include:
> Brandishing or displaying firearms in an intimidating or threatening manner in or near a polling place.
> Engaging in disorderly behavior in or near a polling place.
> Preventing access to a polling place by making threats or engaging in intimidating behavior.
Additionally, it is illegal for private groups to conduct law enforcement or military activities under state and federal law.
If you witness or are subject to voter intimidation, alert an election official and call local law enforcement immediately. If you are being threatened with violence, call 911.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice is committed to helping keep voters safe at the polls and will fight for every lawfully cast ballot to be counted. Wisconsinites can trust that this election is free, fair, and secure.