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Fond du Lac County officials say noncitizens won't be voting, after social media buzz on state law

Posted at 6:31 PM, May 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-09 19:31:59-04

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — Election fraud is a hot topic, and some Fond du Lac county officials are now speaking out, saying they want to eliminate misinformation in a major election year.

  • Information on the DOT website has stirred conversation on social media.
  • Fond du Lac County officials clarify that noncitizens cannot vote.
  • Fond du Lac County's District Attorney says there should be a list of noncitizens who have IDs but cannot vote.
  • The ACLU disagrees, saying it could disenfranchise citizens.

Information on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website has sparked some concern on social media.
There's a link on the homepage with a description that reads: “U.S. Citizens can get a free ID for voting even if you do not have the documentation to get a regular Wisconsin ID.”

"There's been a concern amongst some that this could mean that there are large numbers of illegal immigrants that are getting the Wisconsin ID card that they could use to vote," Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney said. "That is not what that process is."

While legal residents who aren’t citizens can still get a Wisconsin driver’s license or ID, Fond du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg said you still can't vote unless you're a citizen.

"In the United States of America, we all have the right to vote, if we are a U.S. citizen, if we live in the state. Also, if we're 18 years of age and we're not a felon," Freiberg said.

Freiberg and Toney said they want more people to understand the process.

"This issue has been asked of me enough times where I felt it was important to talk about," Toney said.

Voter fraud concerns have been a major issue in recent elections. I asked Freiberg if she thinks there's a widespread issue of voter fraud.

"In Wisconsin, no. In other states? I don't know," Freiberg said.

Toney said he wants the Wisconsin DOT to create a list of people with Wisconsin IDs who can’t vote, so clerks can check at the polls.

It would be similar to an existing list clerks have of felons in their municipality who can’t cast a ballot.

"My suspicion is this list would probably be even shorter," Toney said. "Some municipalities may not even have a name on that list."

But not everyone agrees. In a statement to NBC 26, the ACLU of Wisconsin legal director Ryan Cox said, in part:

"Such a policy would result in illegally disenfranchising thousands of eligible voters. We know this is true because some 4,000 Wisconsin residents become naturalized citizens every year, meaning records from their last drivers license renewal will almost certainly not match their present citizenship status."

The ACLU also said if the DOT made such a list, the DOT would face litigation.

Toney said he just wants to clear up misinformation on the process.