MacIver News Service | May 30, 2012
[New Berlin, Wisc...] A young Republican is concerned he may have uncovered a case of vote fraud, involving his own grandfather, whom he asserts could have been unwillingly duped.
"My grandpa is not a very political guy and never voted in his life, until 2008, when he may have gone to the polls so he could cast his vote for John McCain, because he knew how hard I had been working for the McCain-Palin ticket," said Johnny Koremenos. "A few months ago I was tinkering around on the state's voter public access website and searched my grandfather's name out of curiosity."
He was shocked at what he found.
Documents provided to the MacIver News Service by the New Berlin City Clerk in response to an open records request confirm that Peter Koremenos, a resident of the Linden Grove nursing home put his initials on a voter registration application and an application for permanent absentee ballot status in 2010.
Records indicate that to date he has only voted absentee in the high profile November 2010 general and May 8 Recall primary elections, however. Absentee ballots sent to him for the April 2011 Spring election and the April 2012 presidential preference primary and spring election were not returned.
This news is shocking to Johnny Koremenos because he says his grandfather is not healthy enough to comprehend the issues, the candidates or what the current recall is about. Johnny currently works on the US Senate campaign of former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson.
There is no way to determine for whom Peter Koremenos voted in 2010 and earlier this month, but the fact that someone may have cast a ballot for him greatly troubles his grandson.
"My grandpa is not in a great state of mind," Johnny Koremenos says. "My concern is that somebody is going through the nursing home, taking advantage of senior citizens and signing them up to vote, many against their will or without informing them as to what they are signing."
Records show 15 individual Linden Grove residents requested permanent absentee voter status within a week of Mr. Koremenos, many on the same day in October of 2010. Presently, there are 13 registered voters, including Peter Koremenos listed as living at 13755 W Fieldpointe Drive in New Berlin, the address for Linden Grove
In the book, Stealing Elections, How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, John Fund wrote about efforts to corral votes from nursing homes.
"In 1998, a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, Ausitn Mruphy, was convicted of absentee ballot fraud in a nursing home, where residents' failing mental capacities make them an easy mark," Fund wrote.
Johnny Koremenos fears that's exactly what happened with his grandfather.
Even though, by his grandson's account, he had registered to vote in 2008, another Voter Registration Application was filled out for Peter Koremenos on October 6, 2010 in New Berlin. While no one is listed as assisting Mr. Koremenos with the application, it is clear from his signature that someone else filled out the rest of the form.
In fact, there is no signature by the x marked for the Signature of Elector, rather a barely-legible PK.
"My grandpa can't even tell you how old he is or what the date is," said Johnny Koremenos, who is certain his grandpa did not request the forms he ultimately initialed.
Peter Koremenos' Application for Absentee Ballot was filled out on the same day he registered to vote, October 6, 2010. That form does list a witness on his application, Cathi Wright, who listed her address as the Linden Grove nursing home as well.
Who is Cathi Wright?
Catherine Wright is currently the an employee of Linden Grove's Muskego facility, however at the time she witnesses Mr. Koremenos' ballot, she worked in their New Berlin building. As of the time of publication, several attempts to attempts to reach Ms. Wright were unsuccessful.
Johnny Koremenos is convinced something is wrong with his grandfather's registration and absentee voting.
"It's terrible to think of voter fraud occurrences taking place at any time and in any municipality, county, or state, but it's worse when it disenfranchises somebody so close to you," said Johnny Koremenos.
We'll update this story when Ms. Wright responds to our multiple requests for comment. We'll also bring you any reaction from her employer, Linden Grove, as well as from election watchdogs.