With the 2022 midterm elections only days away, the Milwaukee Election Commission will be without its deputy director.
Kimberly Zapata, who had served on the commission for seven years, was fired after she admitted to illegally requesting military ballots.
According to WITI, Zapata sent three ballots to the home of GOP state representative Janel Brandtjen, to prove a flaw in the voting system.
“It’s my belief she was pointing out that you can go on to the public system, make up a person, and request a ballot,” said Claire Woodall-Vogg, the executive director of the commission.
Zapata’s transgressions came to light after Brandtjen posted photos of the ballots sent to her home last week.
The ballots reportedly had fake names on it with the legislator saying, “I believe someone was trying to point out how easy it is to get military ballots in Wisconsin. Registration for military ballots is not required.”
As reported by WITI, Brandtjen forwarded the ballots to Waukesha County police who launched an investigation.
Milwaukee mayor Cavalier Johnson voiced his outrage at Zapata’s actions.
“This has every appearance of being an egregious, blatant violation of trust, and this matter is now in the hands of law enforcement,” he stated according to the Epoch Times.
The mayor was thorough in his condemnation, further stating, “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. It does not matter to me that the alleged crime did not take place at work. It does not matter to me that city of Milwaukee ballots were not part of this. Nor does it matter that there was no attempt to vote illegally or tamper with any election results,” Johnson declared.
As mentioned earlier by Brandtjen, Wisconsin law does not require those serving in the military to register to vote.
This is the apparent loophole that Zapata was trying to demonstrate as executive director Woodall-Vogg surmised.
According to WITI, Milwaukee election officials have already cut Zapata’s access to city databases and are now reviewing every election she was involved in.
Woodall-Vogg has sought to assure the public that despite this incident, the election process is still in good hands.
“Up into this point, we never had any indication of any type of violation of work policies or procedures,” Woodall-Vogg said, reported WITI.
“We, of course, will be taking an extra look at that. But up into this point, she has been forthcoming, and we don’t have any indication of any concerns at this point. But that’s not to say we won’t be looking at every aspect of elections that she’s been involved in.”
Zapata will be facing charges in the coming days as her case makes its way to the Milwaukee County DA’s office.
This is not the first time Wisconsin has been in the news regarding its election process.
Wisconsin has been a hotbed when it comes to the issue of election integrity in the wake of the 2020 election.
The state supreme court ruled in July that ballot drop boxes, which were used extensively in 2020, were illegal.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.