Dan O’Donnell breaks down the discovery of massive vulnerabilities in Wisconsin’s MyVote system and WEC’s hilariously ironic desire to prosecute the man who discovered them.
July 29, 2022
Perspective by Dan O’Donnell
It took nearly two years, but the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) is finally cracking down on voter fraud…against a concerned citizen who exposed massive vulnerabilities within the state’s MyVote system.
After ignoring obvious and apparently widespread fraud in nursing homes, hundreds of thousands of people falsely claiming to be indefinitely confined to their homes (and thus able to skirt Wisconsin’s Voter ID law), and illegal ballot certificate “curing” by municipal clerks, WEC’s commissioners are taking a bold stance against a man who proved that the MyVote.WI.Gov is extremely susceptible to absentee ballot fraud.
Harry Wait, organizer of H.O.T. (Honest, Open, Transparent) Wisconsin, discovered that users of the MyVote site could request a ballot on behalf of anyone else in the state without knowing any information other than that person’s name and date of birth. Without having to provide a driver’s license or social security number or upload a photo of a driver’s license, users could get another person’s ballot sent to any address they wish.
Users of the MyVote site can request a ballot on behalf of anyone else in the state without knowing any information other than that person’s name and date of birth
Wait claims to have requested ballots for 10 friends who consented to this action and then, to make a political point, requested that Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ and Racine Mayor Cory Mason’s ballots be sent to different addresses.
This was a bridge too far for WEC, whose members demanded that Wait be charged with voter fraud (which, incidentally, he cheerfully admits that he committed).
“It seems to me the way to stop fraud is to prosecute fraud,” said Democratic WEC Commissioner Mark Thomsen without a hint of irony.
“People who think it’s cute to commit a crime to undermine elections, that needs to be stopped and it needs to be stopped now,” added WEC Democrat Ann Jacobs, apparently forgetting about all the election undermining she has allowed over the past two years.
Wait immediately reported what he had done to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office—whose investigation into rampant nursing home vote fraud at a facility in Mount Pleasant WEC completely ignored—which told Wait that it would not arrest him.
Instead, an investigator found that he too could alter the destination of another’s ballot and the Sheriff’s Office called for a statewide investigation into the potential abuse of MyVote’s vulnerability.
“The Sheriff’s Office is calling for the immediate suspension of the function within MyVote Wisconsin where a person can request another’s absentee ballot and have it mailed to a different address, with or without showing any proper photo identification,” the Office said in a news release. “The Sheriff’s Office is calling for the immediate suspension of the function allowing for the declaration of being indefinitely confined, which allows for ballots to be sent to different addresses for ‘All future elections.’”
During Thursday night’s emergency meeting, however, WEC executive director Meagan Wolfe said there was no reason to be concerned.
“There is no indication of any vulnerability with the MyVote application and any suggestion that absentee ballot applications made online via MyVote are more susceptible to fraud is false,” she said. “The MyVote web application requires a person to provide the same information or more information than he or she would have to provide if the person made the ballot request through traditional mail.”
That is chilling. Exactly how little information does one have to provide to obtain a ballot (him or herself or another) in this state? Wolfe assured WEC commissioners that “there are many checks in the system at both the state and the local level to prevent and detect such activity,” but when pressed, admitted that “many checks” is in reality just a clerk following up with voters on whether they actually requested to have their ballots sent to a different address.
This in theory would be fine for a village of several hundred residents, but how would clerks verify every change of address in major cities like Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha, and Green Bay (you know, the ones who unlawfully took private money and let liberal groups help them run their elections—a major violation of law that WEC also ignored)?
There is no effective check on fraudulent ballot requests on the MyVote site
There is no effective check on fraudulent ballot requests on the MyVote site, and as of this writing one can still log on and request an absentee ballot on behalf of anyone in the state knowing no more information about them than their name and birthdate.
How can WEC ensure that this vulnerability won’t be exposed by actual fraudsters? How can it be so sure that it hasn’t already been? Commissioners are so outraged by Harry Wait’s supposed crime that they have blinded themselves to the grave problem that he uncovered.
WEC’s emergency meeting did little to assuage fears that the MyVote system is vulnerable to abuse, and it is thus imperative that the Wisconsin Legislature further investigates the scope of this problem.