Caught on Tape: Wisconsin Republican Committing Vote Fraud in Assembly

Votin' for their missing party members
Votin' for their missing party members

Yesterday in Wisconsin, a hidden camera caught a certain Republican voter ID law advocate violating the assembly rules to cheat and vote for colleagues who were not present. This is also referred to as vote fraud.

This is your Wisconsin GOP, and you wonder why cameras are banned:

Rep. Kleefisch is among the gleeful cheaters. Assembly Rule 76.(5) states that only the members present in the assembly chamber may vote.


Yes, Virginia, vote fraud also occurs in legislatures. The Framers were concerned with making elected representatives accountable for their actions. How can they be accountable when they are not present? How can they be sure that the vote that was cast in their name is indeed the vote they intended to cast? (Assuming our representatives intend to take their jobs seriously and are not voting in Party lock step for ALEC.) Not all legislatures allow proxy votes. Vote fraud in legislatures can involve illegally casting votes while absent, sometimes referred to as “ghost voting” or vote rigging.

If this happened on a federal level, there would be holy hell to pay. One has to be on the floor to vote, that is why they hold votes open. A member has to be there to vote. The Republicans are manipulating the electronic voting machine in the chamber, casting votes for people who are NOT present. There was no absentee voting. This is against the rules of the assembly and constitutes vote fraud.

The fact that this fraud is being committed by a Party member who just pushed Voter ID laws because he was so worried about non-existent voter fraud only deepens the divide; if they care about election integrity, why don’t they care about legislative vote integrity?

But what really makes this so pitiful is their childish glee at cheating and the fact that cameras have been banned in their playhouse. Check out the Cheshire Cat grin:

it's so funny when you violate the rules! snicker!
it's so funny when you violate the rules! snicker!

It may be quite amusing to the frat boys, but those votes impact the lives of real people in Wisconsin. It’s not so funny to see your representative have someone else vote for them with no indication of if they even know this is happening. According to the Daily Kos, here’s a few of the issues the boys felt t was okay to violate their assembly rules on:

Yesterday, the votes were coming fast and furious as our legislature rammed through a lot of repugnant legislation, from removing development restriction on wetlands to removing the rights of women to sue for punitive damages in employment discrimination cases. They also voted to stop allowing high school seniors to register at their high school, and of course there was a whole lot of “get-tough-on-crime” legislation.

Given the vast corruption inherent in the Wisconsin Republican Party, vote fraud committed in chambers (while doing the duty of the people, no less) may pale in comparison but is assuredly a big deal under normal circumstances. It also speaks to the Wisconsin Republicans’ mindset and the lack of seriousness with which they approach a highly paid job “for the people” as well as the hypocrisy of their stance on voter ID laws.

Cue the Right wing outrage that an American citizen brought a camera into the playground and took video of the frat boys cheating, because the pressing issue of concern here is stopping citizens from forcing accountability from their government, not rogue elected officials breaking the rules of their own body with reckless abandon.

At the very least, this specific moment of a Republican elected official committing voting fraud on tape is indicative of a Party Gone Wild. And that doesn’t even touch the criminal investigations and charges swirling around them on other matters. Clearly, these Republicans feel no shame or fear of being caught. The rules mean nothing to them. The people cannot expect good government to come from elected officials whose motto is that they may break the rules but you may not.

Correction: This video was shot from the stairwell shooting through a window. No camera was brought into the gallery.

63 Replies to “Caught on Tape: Wisconsin Republican Committing Vote Fraud in Assembly”

  1. A Republican legislator showing contempt for the rules by gleefully committing vote fraud, yep, cheat, that’s the Republican Koch brother’s way.

    Vote fraud is not cause for immediate dismissal? Should be.

  2. It should be noted that I didn’t smuggle a hidden camera. I was standing in the stairwell looking through the window of the gallery.

  3. The fact that they were more upset about being caught than actually breaking the laws that they themselves have set up is an example of the contempt that the GOP/Repulsicans have for the American people.

  4. Wisconsin? Wow!

    Will be interesting to see if anything happens. This looked common place as 2 people did it

  5. I noticed that as well. They don’t allow cameras in there (for obvious reasons), and it looked like this is just what they do, but the guy laughing made it clear that they knew this was not protocol. I suspect they do business like this often. This is the WI gop, after all. Not to say Democrats have never done this stuff- a PA Dem was investigated for it in 2004, e.g. Bets on this being put forth for ethics committee review? LOL.

  6. Actually three of the TEAPublicans voted for absent members. Kleefish, the guy who stepped around from the row behind and the cute little chubby buy in the lower right hand corner also reached over and voted for his seat mate.

  7. Sorry but this video leaves me unconvinced. All that it shows is the representative in question reaching to push *something* The video is so short there really isn’t any context. For all I know he was booting up a computer.

    Even evidence as seemingly incontrovertible as video can be debated. What is needed now is to dig deeper. Just who is he purportedly voting for? Surely you could check and see if that person was listed as casting a vote at that time against the time in which the video was shot, as well as looking into if you can prove the candidate was indeed absent from the hall.

  8. Uh huh. All three of them were booting a computer.

    Try taking a look at the other gentlemen voting in the row behind the fat guy. They are performing the same actions.

  9. Actually what’s most Ironic is that when I saw this I thought it was video from the night they passed voter id in the assembly. I remember being sickened that night at the thought that the republicans were likely outnumbered in the chamber at the time of the vote (very late night/early morning) however they proceeded to demonstrate the cognitive dissonance only an elected official is capable of demonstrating when they voted for each other and the thousands of voters they each represent. As someone who has spent a lot of time watching these fools break their own laws rules and general moral principles, I can comfortably assure you that this is common procedure.

  10. Watch it again (upper left AND right corners AND directly in front of Kleefisch). I see SIX votes being made for absent representatives.

  11. Yum! Yum! Keep drinking that Kool-Aid. Simple way to check is time stamps. Was a computer rebooted or a vote recorded at that moment? My money’s on the fraudulent vote.

  12. Yeah because all of these replies we’re running around to reboot computers during a vote lol. These clowns will say anything to justify their thugs.

  13. It might be common practice, but it’s not legal, and it’s WRONG. The republicans were caught, and there should be repercussions. Period.

  14. Too bad the videographer had to ‘out’ his camera position. I’m sure that window will be covered tomorrow….

  15. It’s only Voter Fraud if you vote Democratic. When the Republicans do it it’s merely a mistake. Conservatism = Death.

  16. Very well done . . .
    I certainly hope that your efforts result in some SERIOUS consequences for those criminals involved.
    And, I would hope that Wisconsin Dems introduce, today, legislation requiring PHOTO-ID for legislators casting votes in the Statehouse.
    It appears that Republicans warrant this because of their participation in alleged voter fraud.

  17. Not only were two individuals involved in the illegal/fraudulent voting, there were obviously others who were aware of the situation, and thought it amusing.
    They should all be impeached, even those who witnessed the crime and did not report it.

  18. I agree. This type of thing shows the morals of the peoples representatives and it aint pretty

  19. These self-righteous creeps have no shame. Cameras should be mandatory while doing the peoples business otherwise this is what happens. This behavior has to stop!

  20. @ Sarah Jones –

    Hello, you wrote this article. I wanted to know if you know which officials are doing this by name and in which states?

    I am doing research for a nonpartisan group who is collecting as much inbiased and verified data for reporting purposes.

    We cite all sources and will provide links whenever given permission.

    Thank you for your time if you’re willing to lend a hand in this project.

    Heather Johnson

  21. This is unreal!!!!!! Put camera’s in their for all to see!!!!!!! They are working for us correct!!!!!!! How stupid do they think we are ???? Both sides should be watched!!!!!! They should be ashamed. God knows what they are doing !!!!!!!!!

  22. Why don’t you lookup roll call for that day, lookup who voted yes on that issue as it was called, and correlate the two? The records are open to the public you know. Will that convice you?

  23. Toss this fucker in prison and permanently strip him of office. Bar him from ever holding a position again as an elected official.

  24. I think you’re missing the point of the Republican voter fraud theology. Republicans don’t commit voter fraud. Only poor people and minorities (which are the same thing to Republicans) commit voter fraud. I can guarantee you that if you were to say “isn’t this voter fraud” to the GOP creep in question, he would deny it – even if he admitted it wasn’t kosher. Incidentally, there is almost NO voter fraud in this country. The voter-depression legislation the GOP offers are solutions in search of a problem. “Voter fraud,” when it does happen, is usually not “fraud” (defined by intent) but instead is usually people who make a mistake. They go to the wrong polling place and someone lets them vote anyway, or they forget to register, or they send in a mail ballot but think they have to show up on election day also, or they move and forget to register and so go back to their old polling place believing that’s where they should vote. The real “voter fraud” is watching middle class people vote for the Tea Tards because the GOP has convinced them, usually through fear mongering around social issues, to vote against their best interests.

  25. What was the actual vote for? It sounds like they were voting to adjurn? could you please post more of the video. Posting something like this with no context is not responsible.

  26. I am not sure how that makes any difference. The fact of the matter is the context is that representatives are voting for absent representatives. Whether or not the session is going into adjournment make a difference in senators or representatives voting for people who are absent? That’s illegal

  27. this was not a hidden camera. arthur took the video from a distance in the area where he is allowed to take video. not from within the gallery where police stop you even though our constitution and our statures explicitly protect our rights to film and record our government in action. please correct the part about “hidden camera” because we’re already having a tough enough time getting them to follow the laws as it is and now they will blame “hidden cameras”

  28. You’re missing my point. I want the specifics of what happened. If you could also let me know who those missing congressmen were I would appreciate it. If this was a vote to stop for the day and his colleagues were in the can then I’m sure it happens on both sides all the time.
    If this was for some kind of legislation then he needs to be arrested. Forgive me for asking questions. My gut tells me that the person who filmed this is looking to create a scandal where one doesn’t exist. Although, I don’t know that. I don’t trust video’s like this.

  29. of course it probably happens on both sides. The fact is that gop representatives voted for absent representatives. It doesn’t matter if it was budweiser time, call to early prayers or time to turn on the TV, it is against the rules.

  30. Agreed, rules were broken. However, without specifics we still don’t know what the hell happened. This could just as easily have been a vote for legislation. We don’t know, that’s my point. That’s why you don’t post a ten second video. The missing representatives could have been on the floor and directed this guy to push the button for them. All we really saw was a couple guys push buttons that didn’t belong to him. We are left to infer the significance of the actions. was it against the rules, absolutely. Does this video really mean anything though??? Disclose everything, then we don’t have to guess.

  31. I don’t remember what the amendment was but it was a motion to table an amendment.

    But that is beside the point. He and they did this all night for everything that wasn’t a roll call vote.

  32. apparently it is legal under special circumstances. there has to be proof that they were asked to vote a certain way for that absent person, though. if you read all the way down the law posted in the link, it says the times and ways it is legal for one of them to cast a vote for an absentee.

  33. People can still sit in the gallery and be witnesses against these actions. And testify to what they see when the fraud cases are brought against these legislators. Maybe these legislators will see the wisdom of resigning before the charges go to court.

  34. “…an example of the contempt that the GOP/Republicans have for the American people.”

    And THESE are the people who OWN the companies making the unverifiable and easily-hackable touchscreen voting machines!

    Why isn’t anyone as alarmed about this as I am?

  35. At 14 seconds, the legislator who just committed voter fraud notices the camera. His expression of smugness quickly turns sour as he realizes his actions were recorded.

  36. Good, then there are witnesses to these actions that can be used against them. Like the yo-yo in the next row who thought it was all plenty funny–at the time.

    There’s got to be an attorney general somewhere interested in these actions.

    I hope, Ms. Jones, you follow up on this.

  37. Great defense by Joel Kleefisch! I wonder if it’ll work for a Good DUI defense. Yes occifer, I am drunk, but…. a. all my friends do it! b. my wife is in the back seat and she’s sober! c. you’re just picking on me!!! Ha! Ha! Makes sense if you’re a republican…

  38. Voting for someone not sitting at their desk is standard procedure. When I was in the assembly chamber last spring, while the Budget repair bill was being pushed thru, there was amendment after amendment offered by the Dems and every one was voted down by a 100% majority of Repubs. I repaeat, on every vote every Repub voted against the amendment. Only about half of them were present. So every vote repub assemblymen would get up and run around voting for other Repubs. I went home and watched more of it on Wiseye. Every time their was a vote Wiseye focuses on the vote board on the wall and you don’t actually see anyone vote. Of course you really can’t pick up who voted for or against by watching the Wiseye view of the board. So I repeat this voting fraud is common place, standard procedure. I heard the Dems say they also do it. But from were I was sitting in the balcony I could only see the Repubs. Is this illeagal? Why doesn’t Wiseye show all of what goes on? Why should this be allowed?

  39. Why do you think not all the Repubs could get there vote in when at 1 in the morning a vote was taken to close discussion and pass the bill? Because they couldn’t run around pushing other assemblman’s buttons fast enough! As soon as Fitz saw 51 votes he closed the voting, declared the bill passed and every Repub ran out of the room.

  40. What gets me is that this guy, Joel Kleefisch is Rebecca Kleefisch the leutenant governor’s husband! This is what we would get if she were not also recalled!! Geez what idiots..

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