Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Verifiable Elections – The Will of the People Depends on Them

Kathy Bernier, a Director of Keep our Republic, has partnered with Meagan Wolfe, Administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), to travel Wisconsin doing public presentations entitled “You Can Trust Wisconsin’s Election System.” Last week their road show was in West Bend and Manitowoc. I attended the West Bend presentation. Rather than inspire confidence, it affirmed we do not have the election integrity that is critical to our freedom. We must press forward – insisting that our systems are as impenetrable to fraud as humanly possible and our elections verifiable.

Keep our Republic was founded in 2020 by a former Clinton White House advisor and a former Carter administration official to push back on Donald Trump’s position that irregularities in the 2020 election made the result illegitimate. The organization is focused on Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, all must-win states for the Democrats. Kathy Bernier was a Republican Wisconsin state senator critical of allegations of election fraud in 2020. She did not seek reelection and in 2023 joined Keep our Republic with a goal of educating the public by “disseminating the facts about the electoral system”.

Meagan Wolfe is the administrator of the WEC, which was created by the legislature to administer election laws. She is a target for removal from her position because she engaged in and allowed unlawful acts under the guise of COVID hardship during the 2020 election. Examples include encouraging individuals to declare themselves “indefinitely confined,” allowing them to bypass normal election requirements, and waiving the voting requirements for nursing home residents. There were no penalties for illegal activities such as Madison’s “Democracy in the Park,” which allowed early in-person voting outside of the legally permitted times or allowing unlawful access to the Green Bay election process by an unauthorized person. Wolfe’s term expired in July 2023. The reappointment process requires cooperation from both sides of the aisle and, consistent with the dysfunction we have come to expect, she has neither been reappointed nor removed. Republicans who want to remove her have no options other than impeachment. What happens next remains to be seen.

The West Bend event was structured as a panel presentation followed by audience questions. Panel presenters included Wolfe; the West Bend Administrator; Ashley Reichert, the Washington County Clerk; and the West Bend Police Chief. Bernier served as moderator. The formal presentations included how elections are structured and administered in Wisconsin. We learned that Wisconsin has the most decentralized system in the country with more than 1,500 municipal clerks responsible for elections at the local level.

The real education came in the form of audience questions and panel member answers. It was during this time it became clear that the voters of Wisconsin have good reason to be concerned about election integrity. Kathy Bernier likes to talk but is not well informed and does not grasp the gravity of the situation. Her inappropriate attempts at humor about extremely serious matters were offensive. Her “can’t we all just get along?” attitude reflects her ineptitude. Meagan Wolfe is a bureaucrat who is masterful at presenting herself amiably, avoiding direct answers to direct questions and hiding behind what she says the law will and won’t allow her to do. She deflects to the legislature or local clerks at every opportunity. She demonstrates no leadership and the frustration with her non-answers was palpable throughout the room. Ashley Reichart was knowledgeable, serious, and very responsive to any concerns related to the county. She inspired confidence that she knows what she’s doing and is committed to conducting the Washington County elections with appropriate rigor. The city administrator and police chief had limited roles.

There can be no denying Wisconsin’s elections are riddled with opportunities for fraud. Cheating can occur in many forms from the kind of sophisticated internet hacking that occurs every day throughout the world to rudimentary forms of misrepresentation. Our state has had razor thin margins in recent elections and it will not take much cheating to throw an election. The audience questions provided more than enough evidence, none of which was refuted by the panelists, as illustrated by the following examples.

  • There are an estimated 4 million ineligible voters’ names maintained on the Wisconsin registered voters list. These serve no valid purpose and create a reservoir of names that could be hacked for criminal purposes. One woman reported her dead father is listed twice with two separate addresses. She was adamant she wants him off the list and received no response.
  • Wisconsin issues driver’s licenses to non-citizens who are here legally. Questioners contend there are hundreds of thousands and this number was not disputed by Wolfe. The licenses do not indicate they are not to be used for voter ID. Wolfe had no answer when asked how a poll worker would know that a person presenting one of these licenses to vote was not eligible.
  • Any person can declare themselves homeless and, if registering 20 days or more before an election, needs no proof of residence. They can designate any fixed location as their residence including a “homeless shelter or park bench.” All that is required to get a photo ID, if registering closer than 20 days to the election, is an affidavit on a social services organization letterhead identifying the voter and describing the residence.
  • One poll worker reported the voting machines at her location were connected to the internet during the entire time the polls were open, creating an opportunity for sophisticated hacking. The machines are supposed to remain disconnected from the internet until voting has ended and results are tallied and transmitted to the county and state levels. Wolfe acknowledged this was inappropriate.
  • A voter reported on a recent meeting between FBI Director Christopher Wray and the country’s sheriffs during which Wray warned them to expect election hacking by foreign adversaries and to make local mitigation plans because the FBI will not be able to help them.

This is a critical time for every Wisconsin voter to be an activist. The election is around the corner and our elected officials need to understand we want immediate action to guarantee election integrity. Specifically, every voter should engage family and friends to do the following:

  • Vote yes on April 2 to the two statewide referendum questions below:
    QUESTION 1: “Use of private funds in election administration. Shall section 7 (1) of article III of the constitution be created to provide that private donations and grants may not be applied for, accepted, expended, or used in connection with the conduct of any primary, election, or referendum?”
    QUESTION 2: “Election officials. Shall section 7 (2) of article III of the constitution be created to provide that only election officials designated by law may perform tasks in the conduct of primaries, elections, and referendums?”
  • Demand that your state legislators take whatever steps necessary to immediately purge all ineligible voter names from the voter registration lists and disallow any future ineligible names to be part of the list.
  • Demand that your state legislators immediately remedy the issues of homeless voters and non-citizen driver’s licenses as potential opportunities for fraud.
  • Engage with your municipal clerk to understand and evaluate election management at the local level. Testing of voting equipment occurs prior to every election and is open to the public.

The crusade to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump is dirty and unrelenting. He is a serious threat to the status quo and opposition is coming from those who profit from the existing system on both sides of the aisle. The disruption he will bring to a political system that no longer works for the people is a critical step in reclaiming our country.

We live in a vicious “winning is everything” political environment and cheating will occur if it is possible. The liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court will bring back ballot drop boxes. The dishonest media will do their part to reelect Joe Biden by labeling serious, legitimately concerned Americans as election deniers and conspiracy theorists. They will incessantly deflect from the truth with terms like “stolen election,” “baseless claims,” “voter suppression,” “misinformation,” “disinformation,” and “no evidence of wrongdoing.”

There was one dazzling ray of sunshine that shone brightly at the West Bend event – the voters in attendance were serious, very well-informed and determined to preserve our freedom through election integrity. It appears a sleeping giant may be awakening and, despite all attempts to marginalize and diminish concerned, freedom-loving citizens, we are clear and focused. We will continue to insist on elections that are impenetrable to cheating and verifiable. The will of the people depends on it.

Happy Easter!

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