During a press conference Thursday, the Racine County Sheriff’s Department alleged that the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) committed felony election fraud during the 2020 election.
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling and Sgt. Michael Luell presented evidence showing eight cases of election fraud at a Mount Pleasant nursing home, which included false claims that residents were “indefinitely incapacitated” in order to vote by absentee ballot, and an unlawful rule that directed staffers to fill out ballots for residents, rather than “Special Voting Deputies.”
Schmaling said that nursing homes throughout the entire state received the same instructions from the WEC to engage in these illegal practices.
Wow! The Wisconsin Election Commission ordered ALL nursing homes in the state to break the law
Total fraud! pic.twitter.com/yXDpkmiI5c
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) October 28, 2021
Sgt. Luell explained that the applications for absentee ballots include a certification that people people are indefinitely confined. “If that certification is made falsely, it has penalties,” he said. “They’re criminal.” Luell said penalties include jail time, and fines.
“What I saw, and was documented, is these applications were prefilled out for the residents, and the certification was either checked before, or sometimes after the resident put their signature on this document,” Luell said.
Schmaling called for a statewide investigation into the matters, however, the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office has already refused to accept the sheriff office’s report.
The Racine County Sheriff offered to send the reports to the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office and he chose NOT TO ACCEPT THE REPORTS. pic.twitter.com/A6kpnlTisV
— suzy (@Suzy1776) October 28, 2021
The WEC is tasked with fairly and impartially administering elections in Wisconsin. The stunning allegations first surfaced during a legislative hearing on election fraud last December, when a witness shared whistleblower accounts about how WEC employees stole votes from elderly, incapacitated patients in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
Dan O’Donnell a University of Wisconsin Law School graduate, talk show host, testified that a disabilities service coordinator who works with severely developmentally disabled adults in Milwaukee, contacted him after all of her clients told her they were pressured to vote for Joe Biden.
O’Donnell called the whistleblower “Susan,” explaining that she was afraid to go forward publicly out of fear of retribution.
“Every single one of her more than 20 clients told her that they were either pressured to vote for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, or had a vote cast for Biden in their name,” he told the Wisconsin lawmakers on Dec. 11, 2020.
O’Donnell explained that because of Covid-19 restrictions, “Susan” had been barred from visiting her clients in their homes, so she had to have regular Zoom calls with them.
During the presser Thursday, Schmaling said that WEC commissioners and staff who prohibited legal special voting deputies from entering nursing homes, and instead had nursing home staff members assist residents in voting, committed a Class I felony, which is punishable by a maximum sentence of three years, six months in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Wisconsin Statute 6.875 explicitly provides that special voting deputies are the only people authorized to assist in voting in nursing homes and that “no individual who is employed or retained, or within the two years preceding appointment has been employed or retained, at a qualified retirement home or residential care facility in the municipality, or any member of the individual’s immediate family…may be appointed to serve as a deputy.”
On March 10, 2020, WEC requested that Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers suspend the requirement that special voting deputies be deployed to nursing homes. The Governor’s Office informed WEC that the Governor does not have the power to suspend voting laws, even during a public health emergency.
Luell played a recording of Republican Commissioner Dean Knudson saying during a WEC meeting “I have had some discomfort … We will be telling the clerks to break the law … Is there some other way we can accomplish this same thing?”
Knudson also said: “What we are really saying here is…that, despite what the law says, the election commission is saying, in this instance, we need to have some flexibility to not follow the law,” he said at the time.
Even though he was discomforted by the potentially illegal rule change, Knudson still voted for it.
According to Wisconsin Statute 12.13(2)(b)(7), “no election official may…in the course of the person’s official duties or on account of the person’s official position, intentionally violate or intentionally cause any other person to violate” any election law. Violation of this provision is a Class I felony. Investigators say that when WEC instructed nursing home staff to violate state law, it violated Wis. Stat. 12.13(2)(b)(7).
Sheriff Schmaling said that he suspects that the election fraud in the 2020 election was more widespread, but that Luell’s investigation dealt only with the Ridgewood facility. “We have a Wisconsin Election Commission that failed to follow the law,” he added. “This starts at the top.”
After the press conference, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Racine County Republican, reportedly called for Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Meagan Wolfe to resign.
“People’s trust in Wisconsin’s elections has been tested. Many Wisconsinites feel elections are not safe and secure, and now the Racine County Sheriff’s investigation found clear violations and lawbreaking within the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Clearly there is a severe mismanagement of WEC, and a new administrator is needed. I am calling for the resignation of Meagan Wolfe as Elections Commission Administrator.”
The WEC called an emergency special teleconference meeting for Thursday evening.