A Wisconsin judge on Monday rejected a Republican lawsuit seeking to throw out military ballots, The Washington Post reports.
Wisconsin State Rep. Janel Brandjten, an election conspiracist, and others filed a lawsuit last week seeking to prevent military ballots from being counted after she received three ballots under fake names.
“Last week, Brandtjen received three military ballots under fictitious names that were allegedly sent to her by Kimberly Zapata, a Milwaukee election official. Election officials have criticized Brandtjen for spreading false claims about the system, and Zapata later told prosecutors she was trying to alert Brandtjen about an actual weakness in the state’s voting system that should be addressed,” the Post reported. “Days later Zapata was fired and charged with a felony and three misdemeanors.”
Unlike most states, Wisconsin allows military members to vote without registering. Military ballots make up a tiny fraction of the total votes.
Zapata told prosecutors that she ordered the fake ballots because she was frustrated by Brandtjen and other Republicans spreading false claims about the election rather than actual weaknesses in the system.
“I just came to a breaking point of all the harassment and the complaints and the criticism and even the death threats that our office receives regarding election administration and the mistrust in it. It’s not what they’re saying. It’s not conspiracy theories. It’s not satellites that are changing votes,” she told the Post. “But on the other hand, it’s not nothing either.”
Waukesha County Judge Michael Maxwell on Monday rejected the lawsuit, calling it a “drastic remedy” that could disenfranchise more than 1,000 military members.
“I think I made clear in my questioning that I felt that was a drastic remedy, that I felt that it was at least at a minimum a temporary disenfranchisement of our military voters,” he said.