Election Official Fired for Doing a Voting Fraud to Prove Voting Fraud

The action seemed designed to sow doubt in Wisconsin voters’ trust in their election system.
Cameron Joseph
Washington, US
People wait in line outside a polling place at the start of early voting on October 25, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
People wait in line outside a polling place at the start of early voting on October 25, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Olson / Getty Images)

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin, election official was fired after she reportedly admitted to fraudulently requesting multiple mail ballots—an action she seemingly took to show that voting fraud was possible and prove right-wing theories that election-rigging is easy and commonplace in one of the nation’s biggest swing states.

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said Thursday that he’d fired Milwaukee Election Commission Deputy Director Kimberly Zapata after an internal investigation found she’d requested multiple military ballots under fraudulent names.

Advertisement

Johnson said Zapata “apparently sought fictitious military ballots.” Zapata allegedly admitted she did it and said she committed the crime to show voter fraud was possible.

“This has every appearance of being an egregious and blatant violation of trust,” Johnson said at a Thursday press conference, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “Election integrity is absolutely integral. It's absolutely essential.”

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office is now investigating the matter.

Zapata also reportedly had the ballots mailed to the home of Wisconsin Republican Rep. Janel Brandtjen, one of the state’s loudest champions of the claim that the 2020 election was rigged. Brandtjen announced Monday that she’d received three different military ballots at her home from three different Milwaukee-area election clerks.

“I believe someone was trying to point out how easy it is to get military ballots in Wisconsin. Registration for military ballots is not required, so a fictitious name and birthdate is all that is required to obtain a military ballot online,” Brandtjen said in a Monday statement. “Feeling shocked about this situation is an understatement, because it demonstrates stolen valor from those who protect this nation. I think it’s sad that people feel they have to break the law to get the attention of the legislature.”

Brandtjen said she delivered the ballots to the Waukesha County sheriff’s office for investigation, and also contacted former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, the leader of Wisconsin’s right-wing voting-fraud witch hunt.

Zapata’s alleged action is the latest in a series of chaotic efforts to destabilize the 2022 midterm elections and undermine voters’ faith in the election system across the nation. And it occurred just one week before the Nov. 8 midterm elections in a state with hotly contested races for governor and senator.