Racine Co sheriff says Wisconsin Election Commission ‘shattered’ statute in 2020, demands investigation

Law enforcement is accusing the Wisconsin Elections Commission of breaking the law by advising local election officials to not send poll workers into nursing homes to assist residents with voting in the 2020 presidential election.

(Video Credit: FOX6 News Milwaukee)

Sheriff Christopher Schmaling called on the Wisconsin Department of Justice on Thursday to launch a statewide investigation into voter fraud. This comes after an investigation into one nursing home where it’s alleged that state election officials broke the law by ordering healthcare employees to help residents fill out their ballots.

Schmaling is a Republican who was first elected as sheriff in 2010. He supported former President Trump in 2020 in his run for the presidency. The sheriff claims that the justice department has already turned down his request for an investigation once.

A nonpartisan election audit that was released last week found that the elections commission broke the law when it stopped poll workers from going to nursing homes according to The Federalist.

Schmaling stated during a press conference on Thursday that an “election statute was in fact not just broken, but shattered by members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.” He was joined by Sgt. Michael Luell who covered the findings of an investigation into Ridgewood Care Facility.

(Video Credit: TMJ4 News)

The investigation was triggered when a woman named Judy signed a sworn affidavit with the Wisconsin Elections Commission after she found out that her mother had voted in the 2020 presidential election. Her mother died on Oct. 9, 2020, after a period of severe cognitive decline. The affidavit was later filed as a complaint with the county district attorney.

Judy contends that her mother’s mental state was so deteriorated that she was suffering from hallucinations and could not remember what she had eaten that day or even what day it was. She also claims that her mother couldn’t see since her glasses were broken and that she didn’t even recognize her own daughter. There’s allegedly no way that someone could have helped her mother vote since she would not have known what she was doing or who she was voting for.

“Judy was obviously concerned and asked, you know, ‘How can you actually do this?’ And she was informed that the employees would inquire as to how the resident had voted in the past and they would basically follow those guidelines and vote accordingly,” Luell remarked. “Judy, quite astutely asked, ‘Are you telling me that if my mother can only recall JFK, that the staff would have voted Democrat for her?’ And the answer is yes.”

An investigation that was led by Luell found an unusual spike in voting at the healthcare facility with 42 people voting in the 2020 presidential election. The normal number of residents voting was 10. Another outpoint was that in 2020, 38 people requested absentee ballots. That number is usually 0 to 3 at the facility.

When Luell contacted the families of the residents to determine if they had the wherewithal to vote or not, seven of them said no. Almost all of the residents had not voted since 2012. One of the family members claimed that his mother didn’t know who he was and hadn’t voted since 2012. But MyVote Wisconsin showed that she voted twice in 2020.

The Wisconsin Election Commission is comprised of three Democrats and three Republicans. They authorized nursing home employees to assist residents in voting which Luell says “is a direct violation of law.”

State law says that staff is not allowed to assist residents with voting. Only a relative or “special voting deputies” are allowed to do so.

The Wisconsin Election Commission sent a letter in March that mandated that municipalities were not to use the “special voting deputy process.”

“Ladies and gentleman, it’s not a process. It’s the law,” Luell reiterated.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission sent another letter in September to all residential care facilities instructing workers in how to assist residents to vote, including marking the ballot for them, which again is in direct violation of state law.

Per Wisconsin state statute 12.13, breaking the laws concerning special voting deputies constitutes “election fraud,” which in turn is a felony.

“We’re just one of 72 counties, Racine County,” Schmaling pointed out. “Ridgeland is one of 11 facilities within our county. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of these facilities throughout the entire state of Wisconsin. We would be foolish, we would be foolish to think for a moment that this integrity issue, this violation of the statute, occurred to just this small group of people at one care facility in one county in the entire state. I would submit to you that this needs the attorney general’s investigation,” the sheriff asserted.

Wisconsin Democrats labeled the Racine, Wisconsin investigation a waste of taxpayer money and a publicity stunt. But former President Trump urged people to watch the news conference and decide for themselves.

The Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) called an emergency meeting Thursday night after lawmakers alleged voting laws were broken.

In a lengthy statement, Commission Chair Ann Jacobs said Schmaling’s claims were not true and claimed that the change in procedure helped more Wisconsin voters cast their ballots in 2020.

“To put it simply, we did not break the law,” she declared. “In fact, without action from the Commission, many residents in Wisconsin care facilities could have and would have been disenfranchised and not able to vote in the 2020 elections.”


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