Judge Steps In To Halt Election Fraud

(Republican Senate News) – A judge from Marinette County issued a temporary restraining order last Friday on the Wisconsin Elections Commission in a suit alleging that the election regulator places voters in what is being called an untenable position of committing election fraud.

Election integrity is still a critical issue that needs to be dealt with, even years after the 2020 presidential race. Not enough measures have been taken to ensure that we have things protected so Americans can rest assured their votes and voices count.

As per M.D. Kittle of The Federalist, “The litigation is the latest in a long line of complaints against a dysfunctional elections commission and its embattled administrator, an agency that has had trouble following Wisconsin election law over its tumultuous existence. WEC’s latest controversial decision could prove costly to voters and taxpayers alike.”

“Judge James Morrison issued the temporary restraining order, enjoining WEC from requiring that Wisconsin’s approximately 1,900 local election clerks use suspect absentee ballot envelopes while the court deliberates on the merits of the complaint,” Kittle writes. “The lawsuit was brought on behalf of a Wisconsin voter by Attorneys Kevin Scott and Daniel Eastman.”

The complaint in the suit makes allegations that by approving the new ballot envelopes recommended by staff with the WEC, the commission broke Wisconsin election law. If these envelopes are used, it would cause “voters to falsely certify that the ballot envelope itself is an original or a copy of the ballot request generated through MyVote when it is not in any way.”

“By forcing people to falsely certify that the return envelope itself is a copy of a completely different document, WEC created a situation where people who requested absentee ballots through MyVote were either committing election fraud by making a false statement in conjunction with voting a ballot, or were forced to not vote absentee — a Hobson’s choice,” Scott noted in comments given to The Federalist.

“It would appear the six feckless commissioners — three Democrats and three Republicans — again took questionable advice from the agency attorneys,” the report disclosed.

A case earlier in the year from Ozaukee County featured a voter who issued a challenge to the commission’s authority to operate MyVote, which is an online portal voters can use to request an absentee ballot. The commission attempted to say that all the requests that are made through the portal are “email” requests, which is an allowable method for requesting an absentee ballot under state election law.

Officials with the WEC provided sworn testimony that said when electors are seeking an absentee ballot through the MyVote site, the “request” is a form that is created by the system once the user completes the process. Many believe this excuse to be quite a stretch, however Ozaukee County Judge Steven Cain fell hook, line, and sinker for it.

“But the allowance seems to have created a snag for WEC. If an applicant requests an absentee ballot by email, Wisconsin statutes require the elector to include ‘in the envelope’ a copy of the ‘request’ for the ballot ‘bearing an original signature,'” Kittle says in the article.

He then writes, “WEC, according to the lawsuit, provided no guidance indicating any of that. More so, while the Ozaukee County case was proceeding, WEC created the new, color-coded absentee ballot return envelopes. Agency officials designated the envelopes as ‘Forms EL-122,’ and required election clerks to use them. The envelopes contained a new requirement that applicants certify under penalty of law that they requested the ballot and that the EL-122 is “an original or a copy of” the ‘request.'”

“This language found in the new EL-122 ran directly contrary to the sworn testimony provided in the [Ozaukee County] case upon which Judge Cain relied,” Scott commented.

Wisconsin state law clearly says that voting itself is a constitutional right, however, using an absentee ballot to cast a vote is a “privilege exercised wholly outside the traditional safeguards of the polling place.”

Absentee voting is also supposed to be heavily regulated in order to prevent fraud or abuse. Ballots that violate the law are not to be counted. The new lawsuit makes the case that the state regulator who is placed in charge of enforcing the state’s election law is demanding that clerks and voters use a “form” that is not in compliance with the law.

“… WEC has approved the use of new absentee ballot return envelopes that exacerbate and foment election fraud — as defined by Wisconsin Statutes — by coercing a voter returning an absentee ballot requested through MyVote to falsely certify that the envelope itself is a ‘copy’ of the absentee ballot request,” the complaint explains. “The new WEC envelope is not a replacement for a signed copy of the ballot request to be included ‘in the envelope’ in which the ballot is returned as required by section 6.87(4).”

“The new envelope is an inducement to commit voter fraud,” it continues.

“In an apparent move to convince the Ozaukee County judge of its position on MyVote, the Elections Commission approved the design of the new ‘Absentee Certificate Envelope’ forms in August, according to the complaint. WEC alerted the public in a press release titled ‘Absentee Envelopes Get an Upgrade.’ The new-and-improved envelopes ‘will provide voters with a more user-friendly way to vote absentee in upcoming elections,’ the press release heralded. Some clerks claimed the new envelopes would ‘prevent mistakes,’ according to a sympathetic story by Wisconsin Public Radio,” the report states.

Also, Kittle points out that there were numerous occasions where the commission insisted that clerks were required to use the new envelopes in all elections from that point forward.

“I think it’s the height of irony that federal election security funds given to WEC are being utilized to coerce Wisconsin voters into making false statements in regard to voting,” Scott remarked. “And there are serious concerns about whether these funds were used properly under EAC [Election Assistance Commission].”

Kittle finished his piece by saying, “Attorneys for the plaintiff in the ballot envelope lawsuit want the court to quickly rule on a permanent injunction against WEC’s use of the envelope. They fear WEC, which is seeking a change of venue, will try to “’run out the clock,’ ultimately arguing that it would be too close to Wisconsin’s August primary election to change the allegedly illegal ballot envelope.”

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