“The Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) failed to follow the law,” Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling boldly declared today in a Facebook live press meeting.
Using a PowerPoint slide show, Schmaling, along with Sgt. Michael Luell, gave a step-by-step account of the fraud that took place in just one nursing home facility and named the politicians who knowingly broke Wisconsin election law.
Follow me here—this story is complex and shocking.
A woman named Judy was curious to see if her mother, who died in October 2020 at the Ridgewood Care Center in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, had voted. This info is easily found online. She was shocked to learn her mother had voted. She found this odd because her mother was in such a state of severe cognitive decline that she sometimes didn’t recognize family members, couldn’t recall what she had for lunch or what day it was, and saw objects flying around the room. How could she have voted? Judy believes someone voted for her.
Concerned that her mother had been taken advantage of, Judy contacted the police. Eventually, the Racine County Sheriff’s office took the case. Sgt. Luell investigated, and what he found was jolting.
Wisconsin sends Special Voting Deputies (SVD) into nursing homes to facilitate voting. One is a Democrat and one is a Republican. Sgt. Luell learned that the WEC decided in March not to send the SVDs into nursing homes because they are non-essential workers. The WEC extended this decision in May and again in June. But the WEC does not have the legal authority to make such a rule, nor to extend it. They discussed on a Zoom call that what they were doing is illegal. (It’s actually a felony.) They voted 5–1 to do it anyway.
The WEC authorized nursing home staff statewide to help the residents vote without SVDs present.
“We need the flexibility to not follow the law,” Wisconsin Election Commissioner Dean Knudsen stated in a Zoom call.
FACT-O-RAMA: Three of the WEC members are appointed by Democrats and three by Republicans. The WEC falls under the Executive Branch of the state.
Sgt. Luell’s first stop was the Ridgewood Care Center, where Judy’s mom was a resident.
Ridgewood Care Center Fast Facts:
- As per the Executive Director of Ridgewood Care Center, the WEC gave facility employees authority to “help” patients with their ballots—this, too, is illegal. A patient may request help from someone, but voting is supposed be in the presence of an SVP.
- The Executive Director stated that staff would ask some patients with severe cognitive decline, whom family members said were unable to vote themselves, how they had voted in the past. Then the staff would cast the patient’s vote for that party again, even “if the last person they voted for was JFK”.
- The staff asked some residents to point to a name on the ballot, even though some families stated their loved ones had trouble seeing.
- If a resident didn’t want to vote, the staff was told to turn on the resident’s TV to a news station and try again two days later.
- Ballots were floating around the nursing home for days. Only SVDs can have legal access to ballots. There was no chain of custody in the nursing home. This is illegal.
- When asked about honesty, the Executive Director said, “I hope my staff would be honest.”
- Sgt. Luell contacted family members of every resident who voted. A total of eight families said their family member was, in their opinion, cognitively incapable of requesting a ballot and voting.
- One resident who “voted” only had an interest in “Doritos and Snickers,” and his family stated he couldn’t possibly vote.
Here is a list of rules for nursing home voting.
Sgt. Luell’s next stop was the county clerk’s office, where he learned several important things:
- 42 Ridgewood residents voted in 2020, even though the nursing home averages ten votes per election.
- The nursing home averages 0–3 requests for absentee ballots per election, but the care center asked for 38 in the 2020 election.
- Among the residents who voted, some hadn’t voted since 2012. Some had never voted in their lives.
The bottom line is that the Ridgewood Care Center requested a record number of absentee ballots. Due to a lack of chain of custody, many people in the facility could have had access to them. And way more residents voted in 2020 than usual.
FACT-O-RAMA: The WEC decided SVDs were non-essential, but from March 13, 2020 through the end of November, the Ridgewood Center had 899 visitors, including Door-dash, fish tank cleaners (11 times), Orkin, job interviewers, and birdcage cleaners—yet SVDs were suspended.
“The law was broken with the advice of the WEC, to not follow the law,” Sgt Luell stated. “That is the problem.”
This is a state-level case,” he further said.
As I reported earlier this week, voter fraud in nursing homes has been discovered in Michigan, too.
Here’s the kicker: the The Racine County Sheriff’s Office offered the evidence they had gathered to the Wisconsin State Attorney General’s office in March of 2021, and the AG declined to look at it. Sheriff Schmaling offered to send Sgt. Luell to Madison to meet with the AG, and that offer was also declined. They plan to extend the offer again.