‘We did not break the law’: Elections commission responds to Racine Co. Sheriff’s Office

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FILE – In this Nov. 3, 2020 file photo, voters mark their ballots on Election Day in Kenosha, Wis. The push for ranked-choice voting in Wisconsin gained steam on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, with the introduction of a bipartisan bill in the state Legislature, a move backed by a Republican congressman and a recently formed coalition of civic and business leaders. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

FRIDAY 10/29/2021 8:22 a.m.

RACINE, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) issued a statement following the Racine County Sheriff’s Office’s claims of election violations.

According to the WEC, the undersigned commissioners who serve on the WEC released a statement showing their opposition to and ‘strenuous disagreement’ with the allegations from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.

“To put it simply, we did not break the law,” said Commission Chair Ann Jacobs, an attorney from Milwaukee. “In fact, without action from the Commission, many residents in Wisconsin care facilities could have and would have been disenfranchised and not able to vote in the 2020 elections.”

Some of the allegations are focused around Special Voting Deputies (SVDs) and their role in helping people vote.

The Racine County Sheriff’s specifically mentioned the Ridgewood Care Center and certain situations of residents voting even though they have broken glasses and impaired vision. In the Racine County Sheriff’s presentation, they said: “How can we know the staff member assisting filled in the ballot correctly?”

There was a sworn affidavit filed with the WEC saying that the Ridgewood Care Facility ‘took advantage of residents.

“We knew that for the protection of residents, only essential workers (which did not include SVDs) were being allowed into facilities across the state,” Commissioner Julie Glancey said.

“The Commission finds it horrifying and offensive if that sort of thing happened in Racine, or anywhere in Wisconsin,” Commissioner Dean Knudson said. “Nobody should ever be coerced or otherwise influenced as part of exercising their right to vote. We would encourage and expect the full force of the law to investigate that situation and prosecute any identified offenders.”

The Racine County Sheriff’s presentation can be viewed here.

Local 5 will continue to update this story.

ORIGINAL: Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin to announce proof of election violations

THURSDAY 10/28/2021 8:15 a.m.

RACINE, Wis. (WFRV) – A Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin reportedly has proof of statewide election law violations and will announce the results of their investigation on Thursday.

According to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Christopher Schmaling will reveal the results of an ‘extensive investigation’ at 11 a.m. on Oct. 28. The investigation reportedly has implications not only in Racine County but also across Wisconsin.

The press conference is only open to the press/media and will be held at the Sheriff’s sub-station in Sturtevant. It will also be streamed on their Facebook page.

Following the presentation, Sheriff Schmaling and the lead investigator will reportedly answer questions and provide documentation.

Local 5 will update this story once the details of the investigation are released.

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