Thomas More Society: Nursing home voter abuse at center of Appleton, Wisconsin, election complaint

Thomas More Society Attorneys Act to Stop Absentee Ballots For April 5, 2022 Spring Election Sent to Incapacitated “No Vote” Individuals

Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312.422.1333, [email protected]

(March 31, 2022 – Appleton, Wisconsin) An elderly Appleton nursing home resident has been the victim of voter abuse at the hands of city, county, and Wisconsin state election officials. According to a Wisconsin Elections Commission Complaint filed March 31, 2022, by Thomas More Society attorneys, Sandra Klitzke, who has suffered from cognitive decline for many years, was legally restricted from registering to vote or from voting in any election by order of the Outagamie County Circuit Court in February 2020. Despite that order, Klitzke is recorded in Wisconsin’s voting records database, Wisvote, as having voted in both the November 3, 2020, election and the April 6, 2021, election. Klitzke is currently registered and marked as active by Wisvote—and has been sent an absentee ballot for the April 5, 2022 spring election.

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Erick Kaardal, explained that Klitzke, who is the ward of her daughter Linda Goodwin, is under a “no vote” order by the county, and yet the state and local election officials have not fulfilled their duty in safeguarding the vote, but rather have allowed rampant elder vote abuse and fraud to take place.

“We are trying to fix a broken system,” declared Kaardal, “and are taking steps to stop the elder abuse involved in the votes by Klitzke – and others under ‘no vote’ guardianship orders – that were cast in the 2020 and 2021 elections and prevent a reoccurrence of this in future elections.”

Wisconsin Statutes require that Wisconsin’s circuit court clerks send the “no vote” orders to “election officials or agency” for the purpose of preventing an incapacitated ward from registering to vote and from voting. However, when Wisconsin’s circuit court clerks fill out the circuit court Notice of Voting Eligibility form, they send it only to the Wisconsin Elections Commission—not to the municipal clerks

In turn, the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which administers the Wisvote database along with the municipal clerks, does not accurately record all “no vote” guardianship orders in the Wisvote database, which is necessary for the purpose of preventing ineligible wards from registering to vote and from voting. The Wisvote database has a data field for ineligible “incompetent.” “Incompetent” is the word the Wisconsin Elections Commission has chosen as an indicator of ineligibility.

As of November 13, 2020, the Wisvote database listed only 802 total “incompetents.” A review of county-by-county information reveals that this number should be much higher, perhaps around 5,000.

The complaint names Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe, City of Appleton Clerk Kami Lynch, and Outagamie County Circuit Court Clerk Barb Bocik, as violating state law and the Outagamie County Circuit Court Order by allowing a ward under a “do not vote” guardianship order to register and vote.

Kaardal stated, “The named public officials violated state law by allowing Klitzke, a ward under a “do not vote” guardianship order, and other individuals similarly situated, to register and vote in the November 2020 election and the April 2021 election. Wisconsin law requires the state’s circuit court clerks to send the ‘no vote’ guardianship orders to ‘election officials or agency’ for the purpose of preventing the ward from registering to vote and from voting – in order to enforce the circuit court order. In Klitzke’s case – and evidently those of many others declared ‘incompetent’ to vote – this was never done.”

“Because of the inaction of the public officials, the Wisvote system did not show that Klitzke – and many others – were ineligible to register to vote or to vote,” added Kaardal. “As a consequence of that negligence, votes by Klitzke and others ineligible were cast. And because this monumental violation has not yet been corrected, Klitzke and those like her have been mailed absentee ballots for the April 5, 2022, election despite their court-ordered ineligibility.”

“This is an abuse of those not cognizant enough to be aware that votes are being cast in their name,” asserted Kaardal. “It is an unconscionable violation of state law, circuit court orders, and the public trust. This betrayal of the citizenry and their voting rights must not be allowed to continue.”

View Thomas More Society Special Counsel Erick Kaardal’s video interview with Sandra Klitzke and her guardian Lisa Goodwin about the voting abuse perpetuated against them by Wisconsin officials here [ https://vimeo.com/694460295/4f00553bea].

Read the Verified Complaint filed on March 31, 2022, in the State of Wisconsin before the Wisconsin Elections Commission by Thomas More Society attorneys, on behalf of Sandra Klitzke, by her guardian Lisa Goodwin against Wisconsin Election Commission, Outagamie County and City of Appleton officials, alleging violation of an Outagamie County Circuit Court “do not vote” guardianship order here [ https://thomasmoresociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Outagamie-County-WEC-Complaint-3-31-22-filed-copy.pdf ].

About the Thomas More Society

The Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, religious liberty, and election integrity. Headquartered in Chicago and with offices across the country, Thomas More Society fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. For more information, please visit thomasmoresociety.org.

The Thomas More Society officially launched its own Election Integrity Initiative in 2022 to preserve and protect Americans’ sacred right to vote against those who would use money or other illegal means such as conditional “gift” or “grant” agreements to distort, evade or compromise electoral laws and safeguards.