Empower Wisconsin | April 6, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Nearly a month after the Wisconsin Elections Commission confirmed it was referring 43 cases of suspected voter fraud for prosecution, the agency has yet to turn over the names of the suspects or the district attorneys handling the cases — information Empower Wisconsin sought through an open records request.
As Empower Wisconsin first reported last month, the commission referred the cases of double voting to district attorneys in 19 counties.
The suspects allegedly engaged in “cross-state voting” in the November 2018 general election.
State statute prohibits anyone from intentionally voting “more than once in the same election.” Doing so is a Class I Felony, punishable by 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Commissioner Bob Spindell, Jr. told Empower Wisconsin at the time he hopes prosecutors in the counties where the fraud allegedly occurred will thoroughly investigate the complaints.
But it’s still not clear who those district attorneys are.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission has yet to respond to Empower Wisconsin’s open records request, dated March 11. Commission spokesman Reid Magney has not answered Empower Wisconsin’s emails seeking an update on the request.
Nor has he responded to Empower Wisconsin’s question regarding the commission staff member who advised liberal Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnell that he could break election law. State Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) said McDonnell told her that a commission staff attorney advised that Dane County voters could be classified as “indefinitely confined” because of Gov. Tony Evers’ order for residents to stay at home. The coronavirus-related edict, the clerk argued, allows all voters to get around the state’s voter ID requirement in mailing in their absentee ballot.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that the directive by McDonnell and his counterpart in Milwaukee broke state election law.
Was it commission staff attorney Nathan Judnic, the partisan elections law attorney who played a key role in Wisconsin’s unconstitutional John Doe investigations? Or was it Michael Haas, the former WEC administrator (also integrally involved in the John Doe) who engaged in a failed political fight against Senate Republicans to keep his leadership post?
Empower Wisconsin is attempting to find out.
State Rep. Janelle Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Elections Commission asking it to take action against the Dane and Milwaukee County clerks. Commission staff rejected Brandtjen’s and Bernier’s complaints because they do not live in the counties where the clerks preside, according to Brandtjen.
“The lack of action against the Madison and Milwaukee clerks that clearly broke the law was recently corrected when the Supreme Court unanimously agreed that they (the clerks) had broken the law,” the representative said.
In a time when liberal members of the commission and left-wing activists seek to override election integrity laws through the courts, Brandtjen said the refusal of the Elections Commission to release the names of those who committed voter fraud in the 2018 election “creates a fear of “deligitimization” of state elections.