August 19, 2022

Wisconsin officials launch probe into group’s efforts to expose election integrity concerns

The Department of Justice in the state of Wisconsin is initiating a probe into an effort by a group of concerned residents to demonstrate election integrity vulnerabilities they believe undermined former President Donald Trump in the 2020 contest – the existence of which Democrats have long denied.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, the controversy arose after a cadre of citizens attempted to fraudulently obtain absentee ballots in other people’s names as a means to demonstrate the ease with which voter fraud can be committed in the state.

The plot was reportedly hatched by activist Harry Wait and joined by at least ten other Racine County residents. They then ordered absentee ballots in the names of Racine Mayor Cory Mason, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and other unnamed residents, all by using the MyVote Wisconsin app, as the Washington Examiner noted.

Ready and willing to admit his involvement in the plan, Wait explained in an email to law enforcement authorities, “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.”

It was subsequently revealed that Christopher Schmaling, sheriff in Racine County, indicated that he knew about the scheme, but went so far as to state on social media that state election authorities were to blame for the holes in the system, and he also apparently prioritized that sentiment over any obligation to arrest the individuals who acknowledged involvement in the plan.

Schmaling reportedly spoke with Wait on the phone, thanked him for the information he provided, and when asked whether he was planning to come and arrest the activist at the County Fairgrounds, replied, “Hell, no.”

Despite Schmaling’s reluctance to initiate arrests, the Wisconsin Elections Commission held an emergency meeting Thursday night and approved criminal referrals for the individuals involved in the ballot scheme.

One Democrat member of the commission, Ann Jacobs, blasted Wait’s conduct, saying, “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.”

Though likely for a different reason entirely, Jacobs’ statement is one with which Wait would almost certainly agree, as it expresses the whole purpose behind his understandable – yet perhaps ill-advised – act of civil disobedience.

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