By Fredreka Schouten, CNN
The Wisconsin Elections Commission plans to meet next week to consider making a criminal referral against a Racine County man who ordered absentee ballots in the names of a top state lawmaker and other voters in what he says was an effort to expose vulnerabilities in Wisconsin’s voting system.
In a letter to state officials posted on video-sharing platform Rumble, Harry Wait — the president of a group called Honest, Open and Transparent Government — said he went online this week and successfully ordered absentee ballots in the names of Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Racine Mayor Cory Mason and other voters to show the “ease of harvesting election ballots online.”
Wait, whose group has focused on fraud claims surrounding the 2020 election, said he stood ready “to be charged for exposing these voting vulnerabilities.”
He has expounded on his actions in multiple media interviews in recent days.
“If that’s what it takes to stop the fraud in our elections, so we can have real, safe, secure elections, yes, I’ll go behind bars,” Wait told CNN affiliate WISN 12 News in Milwaukee.
Submitting false information to obtain an absentee ballot and making false statements to election officials are crimes under Wisconsin law. Democrats on the Wisconsin Elections Commission called for the panel to make a criminal referral during an emergency meeting Thursday night.
Ann Jacobs, a Democratic member of the commission, said she was “outraged” that Wait “thinks this is something cute, when what he is doing is committing crimes and bragging about it in an attempt to undermine our voting system.”
Don Millis, the Republican chairman of the commission, said he has “no problem” making a criminal referral but first would like more details.
In a statement earlier Thursday, the commission said there was “no indication of any vulnerability” in MyVote, the state’s online election portal. Its members agreed to notify voters who may have been affected by the intrusion, and the commission issued guidance to local election clerks to watch for potential fraud in absentee ballot requests.
Wisconsin’s primary election is August 9, with high-stakes races for governor and the US Senate on the ballot.
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