Ryan Attacks Elections Board on Military Voting


Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan used a Waukesha town hall forum Monday to attack Wisconsin’s elections agency, accusing it of mishandling absentee ballots for military voters.

The Romney-Ryan campaign is suing the Government Accountability Board to try to give military and overseas voters extra time to return ballots. At issue are some municipalities that failed to send ballots before a federal deadline. Ryan was asked about the situation at his campaign forum and immediately blamed the state, “You can’t selectively enforce our election laws. You can’t selectively enforce voting rights. And of all the people who have a right to vote, it’s our men and women in uniform, especially those that are overseas serving us right now.”

Just how many people are affected by this depends on how you slice the numbers. The Government Accountability Board says clerks sent a total of 37 ballots less than 45 days before the election. Forty five days is what’s required under federal law. But Wisconsin law allows for a cushion of an extra three days after the election for ballots to be counted. Government Accountability Board Spokesman Reid Magney says most clerks hit that goal, “Only four ballots were sent out too late to have the required 45 days transit time to reach the voter and to be returned for counting.”

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

In a letter to the Romney-Ryan campaign sent before this lawsuit was filed, the Board said it had already worked with the U.S. Department of Justice to make sure those voters got their ballots in time to have them counted.