Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing for the upcoming election on November 3, 2020. The attorney general also issued a reminder that voter intimidation is against the law.
“The Wisconsin Department of Justice is working with other agencies to ensure that we have a fair election. It is critical that every lawfully cast ballot is counted and that voters feel safe at their polling locations,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Voter intimidation is illegal. If someone breaks the laws that protect against voter intimidation, they should be prepared to spend time behind bars.”
DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation staffs the Wisconsin State Intelligence Center (WSIC). WSIC 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 but not limited to threats of election interference, foreign or domestic.
Voter intimidation is a crime. Wisconsin law prohibits anyone 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 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; or
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.
What to do if you witness or are a victim of voter intimidation:
If you are being threatened, or you witness someone being threatened, with violence - call 911 immediately.
If you witness or are subject to voter intimidation, alert an election official and call local law enforcement immediately:
In the city of Kenosha dial the police non-emergency number (262) here.
In Kenosha County, dial the sheriff non-emergency number (262) 605-5100 here.
Report all instances of voter intimidation or threats of violence with as much detail as possible to the Voter Protection Hotline at 608-336-3232 here.