Wisconsin Republicans Try to Toss All Military Ballots

Nothing says pro-military like trying to toss out their votes. But that’s where the modern Republican Party in Wisconsin is at now.

This is a long, convoluted story involving alleged felonies and attempts to show holes in the Wisconsin military voting system, but the important takeaway here is the system works well when people aren’t breaking the law to try to prove it doesn’t work.

Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R), the chairwoman of the State Assembly’s elections committee and a purveyor of lies about our elections, is trying to use another election official’s alleged attempt to demonstrate holes in the military voting system to toss out all military votes.

Conservative Bill Kristol, editor at large at The Bulwark, flagged the real takeaway from this story, “Republican chair of State Assembly’s elections committee in Wisconsin tries to get all military ballots thrown out.”

The Washington Post reported, “A Wisconsin lawmaker who has been a frequent promoter of false election claims is suing to prevent the immediate counting of military ballots in her state after she received three ballots under fake names.”

“Brandtjen and the others are using the incident to argue that military ballots should not be counted unless election officials can show they complied with a state law requiring them to maintain lists of all eligible military voters.”

“Thank you for your service,” conservative Charlie Sykes wrote dryly above the Washington Post article.

“These are service members defending our country that have the right to vote and their means to vote is by mail,” Will Attig, director of the Union Veterans Counci said. “We’ve got what to me appears to be an orchestrated plan by election deniers who do not truly support our democracy.”

The Democratic Mayor fired Kimberly Zapata, the election official who had obtained the ballots and sent them to the Republican lawmaker’s home, within days “after discovering she had sent the ballots in an apparent attempt to show committing such a crime was possible.”

Maybe if people stopped committing crimes to prove crime is possible, they would see that the crime wave is largely on the part of people orchestrating and committing election and voter fraud… because they fear it’s happening. (We saw this repeatedly with the Republicans who voted twice in the 2020 election.)

Charges were filed. ABC Chicago reported that prosecutors filed charges against a former top Milwaukee elections official after she “allegedly sent falsely obtained military absentee ballots to a Republican state lawmaker who has advanced election fraud conspiracy theories.”

But surprise! The Wisconsin Republican Party was waiting in the wings to clutch their pearls that they had something they could call election fraud, even though it was flagged and found and charged and no fake ballot was even counted: “Election officials need to follow the law. However, the vulnerabilities that continue to be exposed in the MyVote system for requesting absentee ballots should be shocking to everyone,” said RPW Communications Director Chad Doran.

How is it a vulnerability if the person who allegedly committed the fraud has already been caught and charged? That looks like a system that’s working well.

Republicans are old hat at accusing the military ballots of being fake. They did this in 2020 in Georgia, for example.

USA Today did a factcheck of a Gateway Pundit election conspiracy:

In a May 25 article, the Gateway Pundit claimed to have evidence of fraud.

“In Georgia … a sample of military ballots were reviewed recently and all went for Joe Biden,” the conservative website wrote in the article, which has more than 2,600 shares on Facebook. “There is no way these were legit.”

But factcheck:

It did happen — and it’s not evidence of fraud.

The 950-vote figure stems from the first hand recount of Georgia’s presidential election results. It’s not proof of fraud; three audits of the state’s election results found no indication of widespread fraud.

You see, reader, local officials sort ballots by candidate. So while aliens could be landing on military posts to steal elections from conservatives only, there is scant evidence of this actually happening. What we do know has actually happened and continues to happen is Republicans refuse to acknowledge that President Joe Biden won the most secure election in history. That is the real election fraud and it has incited domestic terrorism.

But Republicans don’t let a small thing like inciting domestic terrorism against their own country stop them from pushing election lies. They’re all in. CBS reported, “Over half of Republicans running for federal and statewide office have raised unfounded doubts about 2020 election.”

The only reason to work so hard to refuse to accept the Will of the Voters is to impose your will upon the voters, by force if necessary, by intimidation, by violence, by suppression, by disenfranchisement. And that is what Republicans are doing.

Ann Jacobs, a Democrat who sits on Wisconsin’s bipartisan elections commission, told the Washington Post in a separate article that she didn’t think this was a systemic problem. “There’s a reason why this doesn’t happen, and the reason it doesn’t happen is a felony is a pretty big deterrent. And to do it on any scale where you could actually affect an election would be massive and would be seen and you would be caught trying to do that.”

To wit, allow me to present September, 2022.

A 68 year-old Wisconsin man, Harry Wait, was charged with two counts of election fraud and two counts of unauthorized use of an individual’s personal identifying information in September after he requested absentee ballots for two other individuals who didn’t authorize him to do so. He claims he was trying to show the vulnerabilities in the system, but he is now charged with election fraud for trying the same bit.

Commissioner Ann Jacobs pointed out that the absentee voting system works well when people don’t break the law: “This man, according to his own confession, broke the law, did so intentionally under the guise of some sort of weird attack on our absentee voting system, which if you don’t break the law, works very well.”

Trying to prove voter fraud by committing election fraud is peak Trumpism, no matter who does it. But more importantly, these people were caught.

The Republican Party is trying to keep military votes from being counted because someone committed alleged election fraud trying to prove it could happen. This is a clear case of projection and egregiously anti-American. The Republican Party’s paranoia has infected them with a hatred for democracy.

If we cut out the fools trying to prove election fraud, there is no systemic issue of voter fraud.