May 29, 2024

Harry Wait


Courtesy of WISN-TV (Channel 12)

A complaint reportedly filed Tuesday with the Wisconsin Elections Commission in support of Harry Wait, the Racine County man who admitted to illegally requesting mail-in ballots to prove he could, claims that all absentee ballot requests submitted by anyone using the World Wide Web in Wisconsin are illegal — a novel argument in the war on absentee voting and over state election laws.

The complaint was filed by members of HOT (Honest, Open, Transparent) Government, the group Wait is president of.

The complaint alleges that the WEC website used to process absentee ballot requests and online voter registrations, MyVote.Wi.govdoes not explicitly come up in state law, and so it cannot legally be used for election-related purposes.

For weeks, WEC has been combatting allegations such as these.

WEC Administrator Meagan Wolfe and other WEC officials have repeatedly stated that MyVote does not process the ballot requests directly. Rather, the website creates an email that is then sent to the appropriate local clerk to then process the request; state law explicitly states that requesting an absentee ballot by email or fax is legal.

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MyVote is essentially a one-stop shop, per se, for absentee ballot requests and voter registrations rather than having each of the state’s 1,850 municipal clerks devise their own systems.

HOT Government rejects this argument. The complaint states, “There is no Wisconsin state statute that authorizes the existence of MyVote, let alone the existence of MyVote receiving absent ballot applications.”

Jay Stone headshot


The author of the complaint, HOT Government Vice President Jay Stone, said in a phone interview Wednesday, “The law doesn’t allow WEC to be an intermediary for the voter.”

The complaint demands two things:

  1. The suspension of MyVote’s “involvement in absentee ballot applications.”
  2. To “Stop the persecution of Harry Wait because none of the absentee ballot applications Harry submitted had the force of law behind it.”

Stone said the complaint was filed with WEC. However, WEC has no prosecutorial abilities and has no control over the prosecution of Wait. Wait appears to have been subpoenaed to felony court as part of a Wisconsin Department of Justice investigation.

According to Wait, his first court date in the case is Sept. 9.

Like it does with most other active investigations, the DOJ has not confirmed or denied whether there is actually a court date scheduled.

“There’s no legal force behind any of the absentee ballot requests Harry sent,” Stone said, advocating for the alleged charges against Wait to be dropped. When a reporter asked Stone if he believes all absentee ballots requested online that have now been cast should be thrown out, Stone replied, “What’s done is done in the past. You can’t possibly identify the absentee ballots that were unlawfully procured. You’ve got to let the sleeping dog lie.”

CLICK HERE to read Stone et. al. v. Wofle et. al

Wait and more

Wait came under scrutiny by law enforcement after he requested ballots via MyVote by using the names and birthdates of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Racine Mayor Cory Mason, and then publicly admitted to it in emails to local elected and appointed officials.

Vos is being challenged via write-in by Adam Steen, a candidate supported by HOT Government and endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Wait intended to show how easy it is to intentionally commit voter fraud in Wisconsin, although Wait never actually cast a ballot on behalf of Mason, Vos or the others whose ballots he requested online.

“Harry was able to obtain several absentee ballots without any proof of identification. Clearly, Harry exposed the vulnerabilities of the MyVote absentee ballot system,” Stone said.

WEC, in response to the allegations raised by the Racine County Sheriff’s Office and Wait, issued a statement July 28 that stated, “There is no indication of any vulnerability with the MyVote application. The idea that absentee ballot requests made online, via MyVote, are more susceptible to fraud is false. The MyVote web application requires a person to provide the same information he or she would provide if the person made the ballot request through traditional mail or email. MyVote does not make it any easier to commit voter fraud than requesting a ballot through other methods.”

HOT Government’s demands also go further than what Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling called for.

in a July 27 Facebook postthe Racine County Sheriff’s Office called on WEC to remove its online functionality that allows absentee ballots to be requested to be sent to an address that does not match the address of the registered voter after Wait admitted to requesting ballots under other people’s names in an email to Schmaling and other local officials.

WEC declined the Sheriff’s Office’s request. WEC argues that the requirements to request an absentee ballot online — whether it is to be sent to the voter’s registered address or a different address — match the requirements to request an absentee ballot on paper, in person or via email.

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