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UPDATE: No Charges to be Filed in Wis. Rapids Mayor's Ballot Photo Violation

By: WSAW Staff/ Associated Press Email
By: WSAW Staff/ Associated Press Email

UPDATE: Tues 12:42 PM, May 20, 2014

Clark County District Attorney Lyndsey Boon Brunette told NewsChannel Tuesday, her office will not be filing criminal charges against Wisconsin Rapids Mayor, Zach Vruwink.

Mayor Vruwink said he posted a photo of his spring primary ballot for his re-election on Facebook in February, but took it down immediately after learning it was a crime.

Showing a completed ballot to someone else is a Class I felony in Wisconsin. The issue came up during the 2012 recall elections when Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate posted a photo of his ballot online.

Boon Brunette did not provide a reason for the decision in her reply to us by email.

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UPDATE: Thurs 2:51 PM, Mar 27, 2014

NewsChannel 7 has learned that Wood County District Attorney Craig Lambert has asked that a special prosecutor be assigned to handle the alleged criminal activity of Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Zach Vruwink.

Vruwink is accused of violating the state's election law by posting a photo of his filled out absentee ballot on his Facebook page.

The photo has since been taken down. Mayor Vruwink said he was unaware doing so was a violation.

The DA says he is concerned any decision he made would be considered politically motivated as he has family and friends that work for the city of Wisconsin Rapids.

The District Attorney tells NewsChannel 7 it is in the best interest of the community that a prosecutor with no connection to Wisconsin Rapids handles the matter.

Reid Magney, public information officer for the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board tells NewsChannel 7 the G.A.B. does not enforce that section of the law, and advised us to contact the DA.

Magney did say in recent years the G.A.B. has become aware that some people have been taking pictures of their marked ballots and posting them on social media. Magney said in an email, "Our 2012 statement advising people not to do it was intended to stop the practice before it became widespread".

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ORIGINAL STORY: Thurs 12:51 PM, Mar 27, 2014

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. (AP) -- Add a Wisconsin mayor to the list of voters who violated the state's election law prohibiting sharing pictures of completed ballots.

Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Zach Vruwink faces a possible felony count after posting online a picture of his ballot in the primary for his re-election. Vruwink said he posted the photo on Facebook in February and took it down immediately after learning it was a crime.

A city council candidate saw the post and filed a complaint with the district attorney, who was weighing whether to file charges on Thursday.

Showing a completed ballot to someone else is a Class I felony in Wisconsin. The issue came up during the 2012 recall elections when Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate posted a photo of his ballot online.

NewsChannel 7's call to Wood County District Attorney Craig Lambert regarding the likely-hood of criminal charges has not yet been returned.


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