Wisconsin Underreporting of “No Vote” Guardianships Allowed Rampant Voter Abuse at Nursing Homes

July 26, 2022
Tom Ciesielka

The investigation into Wisconsin nursing home voter abuse and election fraud continues and on July 26, 2022, Thomas More Society attorneys filed petitions for a writ of mandamus in the 13 counties (Brown, Crawford, Juneau, Kenosha, Lafayette, Langlade, Marquette, Ozaukee, Polk, Taylor, Vernon, Vila, and Walworth Counties) to obtain the respective counties’ guardianship information. As the Thomas More Society and the Wisconsin Voter Alliance are digging deeper, they are finding more data to support the claims of the alleged violations committed by the state’s election officials. Recent information obtained from Wisconsin’s County Registers in Probate reveal a massive underreporting of wards under “no vote” guardianship orders by WisVote, the state’s voter database. The investigation has uncovered the likelihood that more than 95 percent of Wisconsin individuals under court-ordered “no vote” guardianships are not recorded as such, and therefore may have illegally voted—or had votes cast in their names.

Our Investigation into Election Elder Abuse Continues

Wisconsin law requires the state’s circuit court clerks to send all “no vote” guardianship orders to “election officials or agency’” for the purpose of preventing wards with that court-ordered status from registering to vote and from voting. It appears that the Court personnel are doing their job by mailing a Notice of Ineligibility for each ward to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. But, then it appears the Wisconsin Elections Commission does not input the data into the Wisvote database it maintains.

“The most important question,” noted Thomas More Society Special Counsel Erick Kaardal, “is the one that pertains to elder abuse. Are these wards with no voting rights registered, active voters? Are they sent absentee ballots automatically as ‘indefinitely confined’? And are they currently voting? Those are the big questions that need to be answered before the August 2022 primary. Who knows if some of those elections could be close? If thousands and thousands of ineligible wards are voting, we won’t know who actually and legally won any close elections in August.”

Kaardal shared the example of Sandra Klitzke, a ward under a “no vote” guardianship order. Klitzke suffered from cognitive decline for many years and was legally restricted from registering to vote or from voting in any election by order of the Outagamie County Circuit Court in February 2020. Yet, Klitzke continued to be treated as a registered, active voter, was sent absentee ballots, and according to WisVote, she voted in the November 3, 2020, and April 6, 2021, elections. On March 30, 2022, the WisVote voting records indicated that Klitzke had requested and was sent an absentee ballot for the April 5, 2022, election.

Thirteen County Registers in Probate responded to inquiries from the Wisconsin Voter Alliance regarding the number of wards under guardianship orders. The counts reported by these court officials confirm that WisVote is likely underreporting wards that have “no vote” orders.

There was a dramatic difference in the number of “no vote” orders issued by the circuit courts in most counties and those recorded in the state’s official voter database. In Vernon County, the WisVote record of “no vote” guardianships was only 39 percent of those issued by the county’s courts—and that was the county with most comprehensive recording of “no vote” wards. In Marquette and Ozaukee Counties, there was not a single record of a “no vote” guardianship entered in WisVote, despite the attestation of the County Registers in Probate that 80 and 219 “no vote” orders had been issued respectively in those jurisdictions. Overall, less than five percent of the ineligible voters, a mere 123 “no vote” designations, were reported in WisVote for the thirteen counties, despite more than 2500 individuals being deemed by the courts as “incompetent” to vote.

The data collected is from only 13 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. The underreporting uncovered in these counties likely confirms a massive problem across the rest of the state with the WisVote data system. Applying these numbers statewide, there should be approximately 20,000 wards listed under “no vote” guardianship orders in the WisVote database.

The Thomas More Society now seeks the otherwise confidential guardianship information from Wisconsin’s Registers in Probate, not as tallies but attaching those records to specific individuals. If that guardianship information is obtained, it can be checked against the publicly available WisVote database to determine the extent of the voter fraud and elder abuse.

“Our investigative hypothesis is that the groups who inserted themselves illegally into Wisconsin’s election administration process have lined up nursing home directors in urban cities to elicit votes from every nursing home resident, even those who have been deemed ‘incompetent’ to vote,” explained Kaardal. “By the Wisconsin Elections Commission not entering into WisVote the names of those wards who are under ‘no vote’ guardianship orders, the nursing home directors do not have to be bothered by the question of which residents have lost their right to vote by court order.”

Kaardal continued, “It’s really quite ingenious. A big progressive talking point is that elderly people have the right to vote, but that talking point is simply not true for those wards under a ‘no vote’ guardianship order. It appears there are up to 20,000 of these court designated ineligible voters who don’t appear in the WisVote database. How many of these ‘no vote’ wards are currently voting? Stay tuned. We are going to find out.”

Read the Appendix that accompanied each of the filed petitions for a writ of mandamus in the 13 counties, detailing evidences, including county lists of voters adjudicated as mentally incompetent or issued “no vote” guardianships, along with proof of voting by individuals with that status, here.