AG Josh Kaul alerts public to recognize, report voter intimidation

Attorney General Josh Kaul reminder the public on Thursday, Oct. 29 that voter intimidation is a crime.

"Voter intimidation is a felony, and it’s an attack on our democratic system," said Attorney General Kaul in a news release. "Anyone who commits that crime must be vigorously prosecuted."

FILE - Voters prepare their ballots in voting booths during early voting for the California presidential primary election at an L.A. County 'vote center' on March 1, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

How to recognize voter intimidation

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. The Wisconsin Department of Justice indicates examples of voter intimidation could include:

  • Verbal threats of violence,
  • Confronting voters while wearing military-style or official-looking uniforms,
  • Intimidating display of firearms,
  • Disrupting voting lines or blocking entrances,
  • Aggressively approaching voters’ cars or writing down license plate numbers,
  • Following voters to, from, or within polling places,
  • Directly and aggressively challenging voters’ qualifications, and
  • Appearing to patrol or police the voting line while armed.

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How to report voter intimidation

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.


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