All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

Stopping Election Commission from breaking the law

By M.D, Kittle

MADISON — A Senate committee wants the Wisconsin Elections Commission to do what it should have done a long time ago: Follow state election law.

The Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) meets today at 10 a.m. at the Capitol. Committee members will take up a proposal that would bring special voting deputies (SPD) back into nursing homes and other long-term care facilities during elections.

State Elections commissioners have throughout the pandemic suspended SVDs, deputized assistants from both political parties who are tasked with helping residential care community residents vote. The commission did so again last month, voting 5-1 to bar the voting deputies to assist during next week’s spring primary elections.

Instead, long-term care facility staff have been assigned to help residents fill out their absentee ballots. The commission instructed municipal clerks to mail ballots to residential care facilities without the benefit of SVDs to assist.

During a hearing on irregularities and claims of misconduct in November’s presidential election, a state committee took testimony from several Wisconsinites who claimed their elderly and disabled loved ones were influenced or manipulated in their vote by nursing home employees — a clear violation of election law.

The Elections Commission clearly violated election law when it barred special voting deputies and allowed residential care employees to do the jobs of the state-recognized assistants, according to Sen. Steve Nass, co-chair of the administrative rules committee.

“The Wisconsin Elections Commission and its staff have been issuing improper directives to local municipal clerks that raise serious questions regarding the integrity of absentee voting by residents of residential care facilities across the state,” the Whitewater Republican said in a statement, adding that the Elections Commission has no authority to issue its directives.

A Wisconsin Legislative Council legal opinion finds the same.

“State law does not empower the Elections Commission to waive the requirement for clerks to dispatch SVDs to qualifying care facilities, nor does it contain an exemption for clerks based on the pandemic,” a council memo states. “While the statutes permit clerks to mail absentee ballots to facility residents, they may do so only after two SVD visits to the facility.”

In fact, law requires SVDs be used at residential care facilities that have five or more registered voters, if at least one voter has applied for an absentee ballot.

As the memo notes, SVDs must meet certain qualifications, including being an eligible voter in the county, completing training, taking an oath to fully and fairly implement the absentee voting law, and not being an employee of a residential care facility or qualified retirement within the prior two years.

That would preclude nursing home staff members from assisting residents to vote. In other words, the Elections Commission’s directive assisted residential care facilities in breaking state election law.

State Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) on Wednesday sent a letter to members of the Elections Commission asking them to uphold the law.

“There are safety precautions in place for seniors in care facilities. WEC should follow existing law and not put our elections at risk. Our vulnerable seniors deserve proper oversight.” Brandtjen, chair of the Assembly’s Campaigns and Elections Committee.

Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe told WisconsinEye this week that the commission has followed the “guidance from the Department of Health Services and relayed that to the clerks in relation to if they will be able to make visits to care facilities or if they’ll have to proceed to sending those voters their ballots.” There is currently no order preventing SVDs from entering residential care facilities.

On a related note, the Legislative Audit Committee will hold a hearing this morning at 11 a.m. to address the proposed audit of elections administration. Wolfe claims, “It’s always great” to have the opportunity for more analysis on Wisconsin’s elections.

Listen to more:

Explore More
Audit: Evers’ DWD fails to comply with federal law

Audit: Evers’ DWD fails to comply with federal law

By M.D. Kittle MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers’ dysfunctional Department of Workforce Development continues to fail Wisconsinites, according to a…

Read More »

August 1, 2021
Tool of the Week: Assembly Dems, Evers’ useful idiots

Tool of the Week: Assembly Dems, Evers’ useful idiots

MADISON — They say there’s strength in numbers. There’s also idiocy. Exhibit A: The 38 Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly….

Read More »

August 1, 2021
‘Education Governor’ kills funding to school for students with autism

‘Education Governor’ kills funding to school for students with autism

By M.D. Kittle MADISON — There is a small charter school in Wisconsin’s Northwoods that parents, students and community members…

Read More »

August 1, 2021
Pelosi’s COVID Cops threaten to arrest mask defiers

Pelosi’s COVID Cops threaten to arrest mask defiers

By Zachary Evans, National Review U.S. Capitol Police were authorized to arrest visitors and staff as of Wednesday for refusal…

Read More »

July 30, 2021
Bill would prohibit Zuckerbucks in elections

Bill would prohibit Zuckerbucks in elections

By M.D. Kittle MADISON — A bill co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald would put an end to “Zuckerbucks” and…

Read More »

July 30, 2021
All Woke Up: Imperialist surfing

All Woke Up: Imperialist surfing

A painfully Woke professor is making waves with his column in The Washington Post  that claims surfing became an Olympic…

Read More »

July 29, 2021

1 thought on “Stopping Election Commission from breaking the law

  • Wonderful, the barn door is wide open, the horses are in the next county and somebody decides to put halters on them or a padlocked hasp on the door. Too little, too late, we’ve already had “Grand Theft-Election, Part one”. Will any heads roll? Doubtful, The Commissar will remain in place and only follow orders from politicians in Milwaukee. Perhaps SVDs should attend cemeteries and other departed voters on the purge list too. “Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into” as said by Oliver Hardy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *