Wisconsin Veterans Group Sues to Sequester State’s Military Absentee Ballots Before Vote Counting Begins

Wisconsin Veterans Group Sues to Sequester State’s Military Absentee Ballots Before Vote Counting Begins
Residents cast their ballots during in-person absentee voting at City Hall in Green Bay, Wis., on Nov. 4, 2022. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Just days before the Nov. 8 midterm election, a Waukesha County Circuit Court judge was asked to sequester the state’s military absentee ballots until they are properly verified.

The lawsuit (pdf), called Concerned Veterans of Waukesha County (et al) v. the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), was filed on Nov. 4 by a team of lawyers from the Thomas More Society.

The action arose after a major vulnerability in the state’s military absentee ballot verification process was brought to light by a whistleblower working within the City of Milwaukee Elections Commission.

To expose a major flaw in the military mail-in vote system, the high-ranking election official, who has since been fired, successfully applied online for three military absentee ballots under three different names and had them all delivered to the residence of State Assemblywoman Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls).

Brandtjen, who is one of the plaintiffs in the case, told The Epoch Times that none of the three names on the envelopes reside or have ever resided at her address.

NTD Photo
Wisconsin military elector absentee ballots erroneously sent to the residence of a state legislator on Oct. 27, 2022. (Courtesy of Rep. Janel Brandtjen)

She said she immediately thought the mysterious mail delivery may have been the work of a citizen concerned with election integrity who was trying to draw the attention of the legislature to a big flaw in the security of the system.

Brandtjen, who is chairperson of the state assembly’s Committee on Campaigns and Elections, said, “I did not request the ballots. I did not open the envelopes. I turned them over to the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office for investigation.”

One of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Army veteran Erick Kaardal, said in a prepared statement, “This situation is particularly egregious as it demonstrates how easily the military absentee mail-in vote can be manipulated due to the commission’s (WEC’s) lack of compliance with Wisconsin election law.

“What a disgraceful way to dishonor our military service men and women,” he said.

Plaintiffs allege that in its written guidance to local election officials, WEC completely ignored a statutory mandate that states that county and municipal clerks must have and maintain “an up-to-date, complete, verified, current, accurate” military elector list.

The local clerks are required by law to supply every polling precinct with at least one copy of the list.

The list is a safeguard put in place by the legislature to ensure that military elector absentee ballots are not sent to people who are not qualified to receive them.

The plaintiffs’ brief states in part: “WEC’s … unauthorized guidance regarding the legally-required security check [of the military elector list] has demonstrably resulted in an absentee ballot process so deficient that it allows the unrestricted manufacture of fake ballots.

“The plaintiffs want to ensure that any close election result is not determined by non-qualified people voting military elector ballots.

Special Counsel Erick G. Kaarda
Special Counsel Erick G. Kaardal of the Thomas More Society.  (Courtesy of Erick G. Kaardal)

“Once a non-qualified person’s military elector ballot is counted, the action is complete and irrevocable,” adding that “The damage will already be done.

“The purpose of the narrow temporary injunction is to get through the November 8, 2022 election without any counting of unlawfully cast military elector ballots,” the motion said.

Senior Counsel for the Thomas More Society Michael Gableman alleged in a statement, “By its refusal to implement the most basic level of security required by law, the Wisconsin Elections Commission has been permitting an election system which facilitates the procurement, manufacture, and distribution of fraudulent ballots.

“This inexcusable failure must end.”

The Wisconsin Elections Commission did not respond to a request for comment.

From The Epoch Times

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