Poll Worker Speaks Out on Trump’s Claims of Voter Fraud


Anica Graney / Clarion

A vote sign outside Memorial Union’s voting station.

Mackenzie Moore, News Editor

The day after the 2020 presidential election began, AP News declared Joe Biden to be the projected winner of Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes. Trailing by a narrow margin of about 20,000 votes in the Badger State and losing ground in several other crucial states, incumbent Donald Trump made claims of widespread voter fraud. This largely occurred as states began counting absentee ballots.

Travis Austin was a poll worker in Madison, a city in which the majority voted for former Vice President Joe Biden. As someone with direct knowledge of election protocols, he took offense to the insinuation that poll workers were not doing an effective job.

“I worked the polls, Ward 61 in the city of Madison, and we had a situation at the precinct I worked in where a voter was issued two absentee ballots and returned two absentee ballots. Same name, address, signature, everything, so it certainly was the same voter,” Austin said.

“We had processed his first one and when the second was about to be processed, we caught that he had already been assigned a number. We verified it was the same voter’s info and rejected the second ballot.”

While some in the United States are concerned that this was necessary in the first place, Austin clarified that this occurrence is not as common as it may feel.

“Lots of hurdles had to be overcome for [the extra ballot] to even get to us at the polls. The clerk had to issue two ballots (but likely there’s situations where some are presumed lost in the mail, so no real shock), then the voter had to send two ballots back in. Next the clerk had to miss that this voter sent back two ballots and send them both to the polling place. Even after all those steps failed, the final checks at the polls caught it.”

While there does not appear to be a reasonable basis for Donald Trump’s claim that the election was fraudulent, due to the current vote count, he has been fundraising the eight million dollars required to pay for a recount in Wisconsin.

In closing, Austin said, “The systems work.”