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Wisconsin anti-vote fraud activist commits voter fraud to make a point

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MADISON, Erase. – A Wisconsin man ordered absentee ballots for himself this week in the names of a mayor and top legislator in what he says was an effort to expose vulnerabilities in the state’s voting system.

Harry Wait, who leads a group in southeastern Wisconsin dealing with voting issues, said Thursday he was willing to go to jail to prove his point. The stunt angered many state election officials, especially those who have fought baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in recent years.

“I would be willing to take that blow to the country,” Wait said of jail time. “You can’t let votes go everywhere, unsecured.”

“I committed a crime when I did it,” he said, “but do you think criminals care when they do it?”

Wait said he used the state’s online election portal on Tuesday to request absentee ballots for the Aug. 9 primaries to be sent to his home in the name of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) and Racine Mayor Cory Mason (D) . Wait collided with both officials repeatedly as chairman of the HOT Government group, which takes its name from an acronym for “honest, open and transparent.”

Shortly after making the requests, Wait explained his actions in an email to Fox and Mason, as well as to Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson (R) and Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling (R), who denied former president’s claims. Donald Trump on voter fraud and called for the arrest of five of the state’s election commissioners.

Wait said he and others had applied for a total of about a dozen ballots. In addition to the ballot requests for Vos and Mason, Wait said he had voters’ permission to request their ballots. He said he had not received any ballots for Vos and Mason and that he had not expected to because he had warned authorities about what he had done.

‘A real conflagration’: Wisconsin emerges as frontline at war on 2020 vote

Hanson said she was investigating the matter. Under Wisconsin law, it is a felony to make a false statement to get a ballot and a felony to make a false statement to an election secretary.

In a Facebook post about the incident, Schmaling made no mention of investigating Wait – instead calling for an investigation from the state’s online election portal, MyVote Wisconsin.

Ann Jacobs, who sits on the state’s electoral commission, said the prosecutor should charge anyone involved in trying to get ballots for others.

“They were intentionally going to steal someone’s ballot box,” said Jacobs, a Democrat on a board that is politically divided. “It’s like walking into Walmart and picking up a big screen TV and walking out the door with it and then going to the police and saying, ‘This is very easy to steal.’ You still stole it.”

Jacobs and the commission’s impartial director, Meagan Wolfe, said the efforts to illegally obtain ballots did not reveal vulnerabilities in the state system.

“Intentionally using someone else’s identity to undermine the system does not demonstrate a flaw in MyVote, but rather an error in that person’s behavior,” Wolfe said in a written statement. “A nefarious person who chooses to impersonate someone else in order to obtain official documents of any kind — be it for electoral purposes or any other purpose — is clearly violating state and federal law and could be faced with consequences. faced.”

The issue prompted the election committee to call an emergency meeting on Thursday evening.

Vos issued a statement disapproving of Wait’s move, noting that Wait supports Vos’ primary opponent.

“His actions are sad,” Vos said in his statement. “If election integrity means anything, it means we all have to follow the law — Republicans and Democrats alike.”

Mason said he wants Wait to be charged.

“He has clearly broken the law and has tried to take away my voting rights, as well as Robin’s,” he said. “You could argue that there should be more security at the local bank. You can’t rob the bank to make your point.”

Mason said he is concerned that Wait’s actions just ahead of the fall election will raise unfounded suspicions about voter fraud.

“It’s obviously wrong and, you know, laced with all sorts of irony from people so desperate to prove a conspiracy that doesn’t exist that they’re willing to commit the crime they claim they’re trying to prevent,” he said. . .

Wisconsin’s online portal allows registered voters to request absentee ballots after logging in with their name and date of birth. They can have the ballots sent anywhere, giving those who temporarily live away from their homes a chance to vote.

A similar procedure can be followed by sending a paper form by post.

Most voters must provide a copy of a photo ID when first applying for an absentee ballot for the election secretary to keep. Voters who say they are housebound because of age or disability are not required to show ID, but falsely making such a claim is a crime.

When voters submit a ballot request online, their clerk will receive an email notifying them of the request. The registrar makes the final decision on whether or not to issue ballots.

Wait said he recently explained to a reporter for the conservative Epoch Times how to request a ballot in Wait’s name and have it mailed to Michigan. A short time later, he received a call from his clerk to point out the request, he said.

Wait said the system worked in that case, but he was concerned that clerks in other parts of the state wouldn’t be as diligent.

“I want MyVote to shut down,” Wait said. “I want all absentee ballots to be locked until they can secure the ballots.”

Ballot boxes are not allowed in Wisconsin, under state Supreme Court rules

Wait made his polls two weeks before the primaries, when Vos faces a challenge from Adam Steen. The primary will also narrow the field for the governor and the US Senate.

Wait, who supports Steen, has long fought Fox over the 2020 presidential election. Joe Biden defeated Trump by about 21,000 votes in Wisconsin — results confirmed by courts and independent assessments.

Wait said he doesn’t believe Vos did enough to watch the election, even though Vos hired a former state Supreme Court judge to investigate it for a year.

Schmaling last year called for Jacobs and four other election commissioners to be charged with crimes for the policies they enacted for voting in nursing homes in 2020. Because nursing homes did not allow visitors during the coronavirus pandemic, the Election Commission told clerks a law that required them to use polling stations. to those facilities and send ballots for residents instead.

Hanson and two other prosecutors declined to charge the commissioners. Two other prosecutors have not said whether they plan to press charges.

Schmaling didn’t call back on Thursday, but Wait said the sheriff told him he had no intention of arresting him during a call they had on Wednesday.

“He said, ‘Thank you so much for breaking this open,'” Wait said of his conversation with Schmaling. “So I said, ‘Does that mean you’re not going to arrest me?’ And he said, ‘Hell, no.’ ”

That same morning, Schmaling posted a message on Facebook that read, “I am disheartened by the apparent vulnerabilities in My Vote Wisconsin that are ripe for fraud, and everyone — regardless of political affiliation — should cooperate in requesting a thorough, statewide inquiry into this important issue of electoral integrity.”

By Thursday afternoon, the post had generated hundreds of comments and had been shared nearly 1,000 times.

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