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Rep. Brandtjen Questions Motives Behind Fake Military Ballots

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The Republican lawmaker who received fake military ballots in the mail says she isn’t sure they were sent to help.

Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, on Friday said the Democrats who run Milwaukee’s Elections Commission “ are not my friends.”

“If I did not know better, and I’m not really good at being a victim, I think this is more a case of some people trying to get some revenge,” Brandtjen said.

Milwaukee’s mayor on Thursday fired the city’s deputy elections director, Kimberly Zapata, after he said she admitted to ordering three fake military ballots and sending them to Brandtjen.

“These are the same people who I’ve [filed] open records requests on for [The Center for Tech and Civic Life] for at least 18 months,” Brandtjen explained. “Why would she risk her job, her pension, embarrassment, jail? All she had to do is pick up the phone and tell me this.”

Brandtjen added that she didn’t know Wisconsin’s MyVote system had a military ballot loophole until she got the ballots. Wisconsin law doesn’t require military members to register to vote or submit any form of photo ID in order to get a ballot.

Brandtjen said it’s not only disgusting that the woman allegedly faked military ballots, what she called stolen valor. She said it’s one more example of how the state’s voter system is open to the opportunity for voter fraud.

A Racine County man, Harry Wait, is facing charges there after he admitted to requesting ballots back in July for Wisconsin’s Assembly Speaker and Racine’s mayor. Brandtjen said another state lawmaker had someone request his primary ballot as well. And there are the unanswered questions about the Zuckerbucks, Democracy in the Park, and indefinitely confined voters that Brandtjen has been investigating since last year.

“Unfortunately, what we’ve seen so far, it’s literally as if someone has gone through our election laws and said ‘These are the loopholes we’re going to take advantage of,’,” Brandtjen added.

She said Wisconsin’s election loopholes and unanswered questions won’t be resolved until Republican lawmakers in Madison take action, hopefully with a new Republican governor after next week’s elections.

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