Wisconsin DOJ opens investigation into fraudulent ballot stunt
| July 30, 2022
The Wisconsin Department of Justice opened an investigation into a fraudulent ballot scheme Friday after a group of residents allegedly plotted to request illegitimate absentee ballots in August’s primary elections.
Several residents who believe widespread voter fraud caused former President Donald Trump to lose the election used fake information to obtain absentee ballots in the names of other people and have the ballots mailed to them to demonstrate voter fraud is possible, according to the state’s DOJ.
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“DOJ is aware of reports of ballots being requested in Racine County for registered voters without their permission. DOJ has been in contact with (Racine County) DA (Patricia) Hanson and will be investigating this matter. As this is an ongoing matter, DOJ will not be providing further comment at this time,” DOJ spokeswoman Gillian Drummond said in a statement, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
The endeavor was led by Harry Wait, a leader of a group based in Racine County, Wisconsin, that promotes voter fraud allegations. At least 10 other residents joined Wait, who acknowledged that “basically, I committed a crime” when he ordered ballots on behalf of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Racine Mayor Cory Mason through the MyVote Wisconsin app.
“I stand ready to be charged for exposing these voting vulnerabilities when I ordered Mason’s and Vos’s absentee ballot online, all without providing a photo I.D. or identifying myself,” Wait said.
Wait said he was prepared to be arrested.
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling thanked Wait for sharing the information with his office in two emails but told him that his actions in the app were unnecessary.
“After the second Email, Sheriff Schmaling had a telephone conversation with Wait where Sheriff Schmaling began the conversation by thanking Wait for sharing the information, but Sheriff Schmaling informed Wait that he did not have to do what he did on My Vote Wisconsin,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release Friday. “Wait then asked Sheriff Schmaling if he was going to come to the County Fair grounds and arrest him, and Sheriff Schmaling informed Wait that he was not going to do that by stating, ‘Hell, no.'”
Despite Schmaling’s inaction in arresting Wait, an emergency meeting by the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Thursday night resulted in the approval of criminal referrals for the band that orchestrated the activity.
“People who think it’s cute to commit a crime to undermine elections, that needs to be stopped, and it needs to be stopped now, and waiting implies there’s something appropriate about it,” Ann Jacobs, a Democratic elections commissioner, said according to the outlet.
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The state’s commission investigating alleged voter fraud only identified 41 instances of potential voter fraud from primaries and elections in late 2020 and early 2021, according to the Washington Post.