Election /

Milwaukee Elections Official Fired After Requesting Multiple Mail-In Ballots

The elections worker was allegedly trying to point out how easy it is to obtain fictitious ballots

A Milwaukee elections official has been fired amid allegations she falsely obtained absentee ballots and sent them to the home of a state legislator.

Kimberly Zapata, who served as deputy director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, requested ballots for fictitious voters in nearby jurisdictions using the state’s MyVote Wisconsin website, according to CBS News.

The ballots were sent to the residence of state Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R), who sits on a elections committee.

“I believe someone was trying to point out how easy it is to get military ballots in Wisconsin,” Brandtjen said in a statement.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson said even if Zapata’s intentions were to shed light on vulnerabilities within the state’s election systems, charges would still be pursued by law enforcement.

“I will not accept, I will not tolerate, and I certainly will not defend any misrepresentation by a city official involved in elections. It does not matter that this might have been an effort to expose a vulnerability that state law created,” Johnson wrote on Twitter.

“It does not matter that this alleged crime did not take place at work. It does not matter that City of Milwaukee ballots were not part of this,” Johnson stated. “Nor does it matter that there was no attempt to vote illegally or tamper with election results. This has every appearance of being an egregious, blatant violation of trust, and this matter is now in the hands of law enforcement.”

Johnson added that upon learning of the allegations, Zapata’s access to computer systems were deactivated, her employment was terminated, and officials began investigating to determine if any other alleged malfeasance was committed.

State officials have installed safeguards to mitigate the possibility of fraudulent ballots being sent and being cast. Elections officials monitor the registration system for unauthorized requests, and the MyVote website requires any individual requesting a ballot verify they are actually the voter who the ballot is for.

Michael Maistelman, Zapata’s attorney, told CNN, “We will litigate this in the courtroom, not the media.”

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