A college student who said on national television that he voted four times on Election Day has admitted that he lied.
The 18-year-old Marquette University freshman from Hudson, Wis., told ABC News’ “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings” on Monday that he filled out four separate ballots using his own name.
The student appeared on local television along with his lawyer Laura Arbuckle, who read a statement today acknowledging that he had lied and retracting his original statement. The student did not speak or identify himself, and Arbuckle would not identify him.
He was identified as Rob Bosworth on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Web site.
Arbuckle said the student had lied after witnessing what he described as opportunities for fraud at a polling place.
“In his zest to voice his frustration regarding possible voter fraud, he crossed the line by making a direct statement that he had voted on more than one occasion on election day. This statement was untrue,” Arbuckle said.
Ballot Check Verifies Confession
“Caught up in the emotion of the moment, he did not stop to think of the ramifications which his statements carried ... He terribly regrets his comments.”
Deputy District Attorney Robert Donohoo said a ballot check verified the student’s confession.
Wisconsin was one of the closest states in the presidential contest. According to unofficial election night results, Al Gore defeated George W. Bush by about 6,000 votes.
Donohoo’s office is investigating other local claims of voter fraud, including allegations that a Democratic activist gave homeless people cigarettes in exchange for votes and reports that other students had voted more than once.
The Marquette Tribune, Marquette University’s student newspaper, surveyed 1,000 students and said it found that 174 admitted voting more than once. Under Wisconsin law, deliberate double-voting is punishable by up to four and a half years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The student did not return a message left at his home today.
Jeffrey Schneider, a spokesman for ABC News, said the network planned to issue a clarification.