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Tipsheet

Judge Denies Request to Sequester Wisconsin Military Ballots

AP Photo/Ben Gray

On Monday, a judge in Waukesha County, Wisconsin denied a request to block the immediate counting of military ballots after a state lawmaker received three military ballots to her home under names of people who did not exist. 

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State Rep. Janel Brandtjen’s lawsuit was brought forward with a veterans group and two other individuals. Brandtjen is the chairwoman of the State Assembly’s elections committee and the ballots were sent to her on purpose by an election official, according to The Washington Post

Last week, Brandtjen received three military ballots under fictitious names that were allegedly sent to her by Kimberly Zapata, a Milwaukee election official. Election officials have criticized Brandtjen for spreading false claims about the system, and Zapata later told prosecutors she was trying to alert Brandtjen about an actual weakness in the state’s voting system that should be addressed.

Days later Zapata was fired and charged with a felony and three misdemeanors.

Unlike most states, Wisconsin allows military members to cast ballots without registering to vote or providing proof of residency. Military ballots make up a tiny fraction of votes in Wisconsin — about 1,400 so far for Tuesday’s election.

Brandtjen’s attorney, Erick Kaardal, told the Post that state officials have handled elections in a way that is “conducive to voter fraud.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted that Brandtjen’s attorneys asked the court for a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction to sequester all military ballots and stop them from being counted until it could be verified that they match the list of military voters. 

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Assistant Attorney General Lynn Lodahl reportedly stated that it was too late to make changes to the voting process and that the request did not meet the requirements for an injunction.

Reportedly, there is not a “comprehensive” list of every active-duty military member in Wisconsin. 

“This idea that there is a list out there that could prevent what happened with Ms. Zapata is just wrong,” Lodahl said during the hearing. 

Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is up for reelection on Tuesday. Townhall covered how a new Marquette Law School Poll found that 48 percent of likely voters support Evers, and an additional 48 percent support his Republican challenger, Tim Michels. 

"The right characterization is this is clearly a toss-up race at this point," poll director Charles Franklin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Sentinel added in its report that the Democrats have not broken the 50 percent mark in the Marquette Law polls.

“So, a pure toss-up. I don’t know what else to call it,” Franklin said. 

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