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Wednesday

August 2014

27

Suspected vote fraud reported in Delafield

Clerk describes suspicious absentee voter applications

City of Delafield - The Waukesha County District Attorney's office has been asked by City Clerk Gina Gresch to investigate what she thinks could be three cases of vote fraud that her office uncovered during the past 24 hours.

Two of the cases involved suspicious-looking applications for absentee ballots. In the third case, a 25-year-old man arrived at City Hall Tuesday afternoon and cast an absentee ballot. However, another ballot was mailed to him earlier that morning by city election officials in response to a ballot application they had received.

Waukesha County Sheriff's Department Detective Dave Witkowski said he has begun an investigation into the incidents and will refer the findings of his investigations to the District Attorney's Office.

Lake Country municipal clerks have reported that several organizations have been mailing absentee ballot applications to voters for the June 5 recall election.

Gresch said that on Tuesday her office received in the mail two absentee ballot applications with similar handwriting.

One of the applications was for an address on Hillside Road and the other was for an address on Hillside Court. Both addresses are in the Hillside Road neighborhood south of Highway 83/I-94.

Because of the suspicious appearance of the applications, Deputy Clerk Ellen O'Brien contacted the telephone numbers listed on the applications. Individuals who live at those addresses told her they did not request ballots and said they would be voting in person in the elec tion next week, according to Gresch.

Gresch said the applications appeared unusual to O'Brien because in each case one application sought ballots for two individuals, and both applications were in the same neighborhood.

"We also find it very odd that the handwriting is very similar on both cards," she added.

The same morning, the clerk's office received an absentee ballot request for a man on Hawthorne Drive, on the city's far west side.

After confirming that he was a registered voter, an absentee ballot was mailed to him. However, later in the afternoon he arrived at City Hall and cast an absentee ballot.

After election officials discovered he had cast one ballot and another had been mailed to him, Gresch contacted him.

The man said he did not recall applying for an absentee ballot. However, he said a couple of weeks ago a man came to his door and asked him to sign something, according to Gresch.

"(He) said he was asked to sign something with other people's names on it, but he wasn't really sure what he was signing and that it seemed weird," Gresch said.

"The guy at the door handed him Walker information and told (the man) the more signatures he got, the more commission he made," Gresch continued.

"(The man) said he has a hard time saying 'no' to people that ask for stuff when they come to his house, so that's why he signed something," Gresch added.

Gresch said the man later came to the clerk's office and verified the card mailed to the clerk's office was the same one he signed for the individual soliciting his signature.

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