Jury Finds Former Wisconsin Election Official Guilty Of Voter Fraud

A former election official in Wisconsin was found guilty of voter fraud charges after she generated ballots for non-existent members of the military during the 2022 election.

In a Wednesday ruling, a jury decided that former Milwaukee Election Commission Deputy Commissioner Kimberly Zapata committed felony misconduct in public office and three misdemeanor counts of making a false statement in order to obtain an absentee ballot.

During the 2022 election cycle, Zapata obtained three absentee ballots with the names of fictional military members. This was possible as military members are not required to present an ID to obtain an absentee ballot in the state. The absentee ballots were sent to the home of Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-WI), who reported the suspicious ballots.

Shortly after, Zapata got fired after the mayor discovered she requested the extra ballots. She was arrested and accused of voter fraud in November 2022.

While Zapata’s attorneys claimed she was a whistleblower and had committed the acts in a bid to expose loopholes in the Wisconsin election system, the jury decided she committed election fraud.

“She was a whistleblower, she was showing the truth, with an action — an imperfect action, but a truthful action — what was going on. There’s a huge flaw here, and if people don’t take it seriously, some nefarious person will do something bad with this flaw in the system,” Attorney Daniel Adams said.

But Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Matthew Westphal said during the trial that Zapata betrayed the integrity of the state’s election system, per WPR.

“We rely on our election workers to maintain the integrity of our election system. Ms. Zapata took a tiny hammer and started chiseling away at that foundation. Instead of helping secure the absentee ballot system, she introduced fraud into that system,” he said.

Brandtjen, who chairs the Assembly elections committee, refused to speak to Zapata’s intent, as she said that she had never spoken to the election official and did not know why she sent her the ballots.

“If Ms. Zapata had wished to raise concerns about the election process, she could have done so anonymously by contacting appropriate authorities rather than jeopardizing her job and reputation. I cannot speak to Kim Zapata’s intent as I have never spoken with her,” she stated.

With her sentencing scheduled for May, Zapata faces up to four years in prison and over $10,000 in fines.

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