A concerned citizen who serves as Chief Election Observer in a town in Wisconsin is blowing the whistle on how nursing home residents' votes are easily stolen. In an email to the "Dan O'Donnell Show," the person, whose name and identifying information have been redacted because of a fear of reprisal, explains in detail how fraud works at the assisted living facility in the community in which they live.
I heard your story about the lady who shared about somebody voting for her mom, and as you both concluded, it's probably far more common than we would like to believe.
I am the Chief Inspector (lead poll worker) for the Town of _________, and because of this, I've learned a lot about the way(s) it would be very easy to cheat at the expense of the elderly and disabled. In _________, we have a care facility called _________, and due to a law passed sometime before I came to Wisconsin 10 years ago (and which I really couldn't believe was in place, given the potential for fraud - Illinois and Ohio where I've lived have no such provision) municipalities where a care facility is located are required to send what are called Special Voting Deputies (SVDs) to that facility (or facilities) to assist the residents in voting during a special window of time before the election.
The date and time are posted five or more days before we come in (usually for a two-hour time slot), and the residents assemble much as you would at a regular polling place (we do our set up in the family area). Two of our poll workers check off the resident and give them an absentee ballot and ballot envelope and send them to one of the other two poll workers who are set up at separate tables to assist the voter should they need it. Because the residents at _________ are sometimes mentally handicapped (some physically handicapped, some both), we often have to assist them by marking the ballot. We read it to them and wait for their response.
Not to be unkind, Dan, but about 50-75% of the residents have no idea what's going on. They're just doing it because they are registered (someone at some point in the past helped them with this - maybe a family member or a staff worker), and everyone else is doing it. They are considered indefinitely confined, so they don't need an ID, and they're on the list to receive absentee ballots this way indefinitely (when a person registers for an absentee ballot, they have the choice of just receiving one for that one election or for any elections for that calendar year. They have to request and absentee ballot again at the beginning of each year. With the indefinitely confined, they can receive ballots basically till they've passed - or beyond, I guess - hence the advantage for that illegitimate COVID designation if you classify yourself "indefinitely confined.").
Now I don't have a problem with the ID issue, but as you probably already have guessed, if the SVDs aren't honest and have integrity, this is a great opportunity to take advantage and urge the unsuspecting and really sometimes uncomprehending voter to vote the way the assistant wants. We only have about 30 who vote at _________, but it's a relatively small facility, but imagine the bigger ones, multiply by however many such care facilities we have in Wisconsin, and you can see how this can really turn into a significant voting block being used for fraud. (I'm sure the majority are probably upright, honest SVDs just wanting to help the disabled vote, for sure, but I can't see this field of votes ripe for harvest being overlooked by those who would commit fraud).
Because of COVID, we have not been allowed into the facility since before April, so the last three elections, the staff at _________ assisted the voters - that's a whole other group of untrained, potentially dishonest voter assistants with really no controls or supervision in place. We just receive the voted absentee ballots back at the township with the voter's signature (if they can), the witness's signature and facility address on the ballot envelope, dropped off as a pack by the facility's activity director. If the voter has been assisted by someone, that assistant is supposed to sign the back of the ballot itself - whether that would actually happen if someone is using this whole process for fraud is obviously very doubtful, and it wouldn't be able to be traced anyway. At that point, it's just another absentee ballot.
So I hope this might be helpful as you continue discussion on just how ripe the state of Wisconsin is for voter fraud (don't even get me started on same day voter registration).
On Thursday, "The Dan O'Donnell Show" shared the story of a 95-year-old woman who died last month after a long battle with dementia. Despite her obvious incapacitation, she has been voting absentee from the various assisted living facilities in which she has lived since 2012.
Her daughter said that it was impossible for her to understand what was going on in the election, yet the woman still requested an absentee ballot on March 26th and voted by mail in both the Spring Election and Presidential Election.