County sheriff in Wisconsin reveals evidence of felony election law violations

"Election statute was in fact not just broken, but shattered by members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission," said the Racine County sheriff, referring to evidence that absentee votes were cast on behalf of cognitively impaired nursing home residents.

Published: October 28, 2021 1:21pm

Updated: October 28, 2021 3:09pm

The sheriff of Racine County in Wisconsin, Christopher Schmaling, presented evidence Thursday of felony election law violations in the county during the 2020 election.

Schmaling came out swinging against members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, by whom he said "election statute was in fact not just broken, but shattered." 

The sheriff's office received a complaint from a relative of a nursing home resident who died in October 2020. Despite suffering from severe cognitive decline prior to her passing, though, she still somehow managed to cast a vote via absentee ballot in the 2020 presidential election, according to state records.

The nursing home resident lived at the Ridgewood Care Facility. Following a complaint by the deceased resident's daughter, who found it suspicious that her mother was able to vote given her condition at the time, Racine County Sgt. Michael Luell launched an investigation. 

Luell found that in 2020 there had been an unusual surge in voting activity at the care facility. Luell reported back that eight out of 42 families of residents at Ridgewood said their loved ones did not possess the cognitive ability to vote, despite having done so.

The county investigation pertained exclusively to the Ridgewood Care Facility, but Sheriff Schmaling said he expects that his presentation of the results of the investigation will lead to others who experienced something similar across the state coming forward. 

Toward the end of the presentation, Schmaling called on the Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul to launch an immediate investigation into the incident.

The chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Paul Farrow released a statement following Schmaling's presentation. "Anyone who cares at all about election integrity owes the Racine County Sheriff's Department a debt of gratitude for their work today," he said. "It is horrific that WEC's choice to violate state laws may have led to bad actors taking advantage of vulnerable citizens in nursing homes. It's time for Democrats, the Department of Justice, and the mainstream media to take election integrity concerns seriously."

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