A 51-year-old Pewaukee man's vote in the November presidential election was cast fraudulently because he was on probation for a felony conviction of failing to pay child support, according to a criminal complaint.
Karl Reinelt was charged Thursday with election fraud. He faces up to 5.5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if convicted. He will appear in court at 8:15 a.m. Jan. 28.
According to the criminal complaint:
Pewaukee Clerk/Treasurer Nancy Zastrow reported Reinelt registered and voted at Queen Apostles Church. He showed his Wisconsin driver's license to poll workers in order to vote.
But after the election, Zastrow said she learned Reinelt was ineligible to vote because he was still serving probation on a felony conviction.
A Department of Corrections probation agent told a detective that Reinelt was serving four years of probation on three counts of failing to support a child in Milwaukee County. The agent told the detective she met with Reinelt in November 2011 and informed him he is not allowed to vote until his sentence was completed.
Reinelt told the detective he didn't know he wasn't allowed to vote, although he went over the rules with his probation agent in November 2011. He said the meeting was 1 1/2 years ago. However, detectives noted Reinelt signed a certificate when voting that stated he was not serving a sentence for a felony conviction and that he wasn't disqualified for voting.
Wisconsin law prohibits people from voting if they are serving a felony sentence, even if on probation or parole.