Wisconsin activist who ordered absentee ballots in others’ names charged with election fraud, ID theft


MADISON, Wisconsin — Prosecutors on Thursday charged a Wisconsin man with electoral fraud and identity theft after he admitted to fraudulently asking for ballots in what he said was an attempt to expose vulnerabilities in the state’s electoral system. bring.

The Justice Department has charged 68-year-old Harry Wait with two counts of vote fraud and two of identity theft. He would face up to 13 years behind bars if convicted on all four counts.

Wait told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that he was not surprised to be charged.

“You have to expect to pay some fees sometimes if you’re trying to work for the public good,” he said. “You can’t always stay in the safe zone.”

The charges mark another bizarre chapter in a seemingly endless battle over the electoral administration in Wisconsin, a key battleground as the 2024 presidential election approaches.

The battle began after Joe Biden won the state in 2020, beating former President Donald Trump by nearly 21,000 votes. Trump has refused to accept the loss, claiming the election was marred by fraud. Multiple reviews and court decisions have confirmed Biden’s victory, but Trump supporters have spent the months since promoting his baseless claims that Biden somehow stole the election.

Wait publicly acknowledged in July that he visited the state’s MyVote Wisconsin website and ordered ballots on behalf of House Speaker Robin Vos, Mayor of Racine Cory Mason and several other people by entering their personal information. He said he had requested that the ballots be delivered to his home.

He said he then told Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling what he had done and said he was trying to show the site is vulnerable to fraud.

According to a criminal complaint, the Wisconsin Elections Commission notified the state’s Department of Justice on July 28 of eight potentially fraudulent absenteeism requests filed through MyVote Wisconsin. Investigators discovered a letter that Harry Wait posted on the HOT Government’s website. The group promotes fair, open and transparent government; Wait is the chairman of the group.

Wait said in the letter that he had gone online and successfully ordered ballots in the name of at least two other people and had the ballots shipped to his address. The complaint only identified those people as Individual 1 and Individual 2.

Wait went on to say that he had obtained permission from others in the state to impersonate them and have their ballots sent to his address.

“I stand ready to be charged for exposing these voting vulnerabilities when I ordered the (individual 2) and (individual 1) absentee ballots online,” Wait wrote, according to the complaint.

Investigators also found a video from a July 28 podcast in which Wait admitted to ordering ballots for both people to be mailed to his address, as well as ballots for others with their consent. He said he expected to be arrested and called on others to apply for absentee ballots in the name of others and have them sent to state officials.

Justice Department agents interviewed Wait on Aug. 24, according to the complaint. He told them he had applied for the ballots for Individuals 1 and 2 on July 26 while at the HOT Government booth at the Racine County Fair and had no permission. He said he knew he was committing a crime and would do it again, the indictment said.

Wait is due to appear in court for the first time on September 8.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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