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Pewaukee felon charged with voter fraud

Village of Pewaukee — Karl Reinelt, A 51-year-old felon, was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court with one count of election fraud after voting in the Nov. 6, 2012 election.

The alleged illegal vote was first reported the day after the election by Clerk-Treasurer Nancy Zastrow. She said she first noticed the mistake when comparing the new registrants sheets with the Government Accountability Board’s list of convicted felons.

She said the mistake should have been caught when Reinelt tried to vote, but the poll workers were busy and must not have cross-checked his registration. The vote could be thrown out, if it were challenged, but Zastrow said that would be difficult to do because of the anonymity of the voting process.

“It could be a really big deal if it was a close race,” Zastrow said, such as the 2011 Supreme Court race between Justice David Prosser, Jr. and former Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg. “But in this case, I don’t see them making us do something with the numbers.”

Reinelt was convicted early last year of four felony counts of failure to pay child support in Milwaukee County Circuit Court and was on court-ordered probationary supervision as a result.

According to Wisconsin Statute 6.03(1)(b) and 304.078(3), any person convicted of treason, felony or bribery is disqualified from voting until he or she completes the term of imprisonment or probation for the crime that led to disqualification.

Reinelt was allegedly informed he could not vote by his probation officer and signed a copy of the rules of community supervision, which included the provision prohibiting voting, according to the criminal complaint.

The defendant allegedly told police he voted, but claimed he did not know he could not vote, because the meeting with his probation officer so long ago, according to the complaint.

If convicted, Reinelt could face up to three and a half years in prison, $10,000 in fines, or both. Reinelt’s next expected court date is on Jan. 28.

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