Tuesday - March 14, 2017 2:53 am

Dozens voted illegally in Wisconsin presidential primaries Featured

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One happened to vote unknowingly, but illegally, in La Crosse County.

Since Wisconsin's presidential primary last year, reports have circulated that some 17-year-olds were allowed to vote in the April primary.

The thought was that it was OK as long as they turned 18 by November. That, however, is not the case, and complaints were filed about dozens of 17-year-olds, including one in La Crosse County.

District Attorney Tim Gruenke is confident that the teenager in question honestly thought he could vote, so no charges were filed.

He showed his ID. He stated he was 17. He explained exactly who he was and what he was doing and the clerks didn't stop him from voting and he assumed, 'Well, if they didn't stop me, I must be OK.'"

Gruenke added that election workers in the city of La Crosse slipped up in this case. 

"I think the courts have been trained, they just didn't catch it," Gruenke said. "I think they know that, and they knew at the time, they just didn't catch it."

The Wisconsin Elections Commission says the illegal votes occurred in 29 counties.  

Multiple states do allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries and caucuses: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming, according to FairVote.

Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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