Former Election Official’s Shocking Scheme Exposed: Fake Military Voters Unveiled in High-Stakes Trial!

The trial of a former Wisconsin official accused of requesting mail-in ballots for three fictitious voters is set to commence on Monday in a court.

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Kimberly D. Zapata, 47, who previously held the position of deputy director at the City of Milwaukee Election Commission, faces charges of election fraud and misconduct in public office. These charges were brought against her in November 2022, as outlined in a criminal complaint.

Despite pleading not guilty in December 2022, Zapata's trial is now on the horizon, with jury selection slated to begin on Monday.

According to prosecutors, Zapata utilized Wisconsin's online voter-registration portal, MyVote, to submit requests for the ballots in question. Subsequently, during an interview with investigators, she purportedly confessed to initiating these requests.

Zapata allegedly carried out this action in an attempt to highlight vulnerabilities within the absentee voting system, claiming it was a measure to uphold election integrity—a facet she viewed as part of her job.

The alleged incident occurred on October 25, 2022, mere weeks before the midterm elections. Zapata purportedly accessed the public website from her residence at approximately 5:30 a.m., utilizing her city-issued laptop to file all three requests within a brief 10-minute timeframe.

The fabricated identities used for these requests—Holly Brandtjen, Holly Jones, and Holly Adams—shared a single birthdate, as per prosecutors. The requests lacked any supporting proof of identification or residency, yet all were designated as military voters.

Notably, military voters are exempt from standard registration procedures and photo ID requirements, as clarified by Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the state's Election Commission.

Following the filing of the requests, State Assembly Rep. Janel Brandtjen, a Republican who had previously questioned the integrity of Wisconsin's elections, disclosed that she had received all three ballots at her residence. She promptly alerted the Waukesha County Sheriff's Office, prompting an investigation.

Subsequent exchanges between Zapata and Woodall-Vogg revealed Zapata's acknowledgment of the ease with which fraudulent requests could be made. Zapata allegedly admitted to fabricating the identities of the voters to underscore this vulnerability, attributing her actions in part to feeling overwhelmed by threats and harassment directed towards the Election Commission.

Zapata's employment with the commission, which commenced in 2016 and saw her ascend to the role of deputy director in 2022, was terminated following the revelation of her actions. Milwaukee Cavalier Johnson characterized her conduct as a flagrant breach of trust during a press conference.

Zapata faces significant penalties if convicted, including imprisonment and fines. Additionally, following her dismissal, efforts were made to sequester military mail-in ballots received prior to the midterm election, though these attempts were ultimately unsuccessful.

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