Top Election Official CONVICTED

Top Election Official CONVICTED

Kimberly Zapata, a former Wisconsin elections official, expressed her frustration with Republicans discussing the ease of committing voter fraud. In response, she made the decision to unlawfully send three ballots to a GOP state representative, with the intention of silencing her.

However, Zapata’s claimed motivations did not sway the jury, as she was found guilty of election fraud. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that it took approximately five hours for the jury to reach this verdict. Zapata, who previously held the position of deputy director at the Milwaukee Election Commission, was convicted of one felony charge of misconduct in public office and three misdemeanors for providing false information to obtain absentee ballots.

It is clear that Zapata’s actions did not achieve the desired outcome. She will face sentencing on May 2. Zapata had been employed by the commission for seven years but was terminated shortly before the 2022 midterms when it was discovered that she had sent the military ballots to the residence of GOP state Rep. Janel Brantdjen. During that time, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson confirmed that Zapata had admitted to the scheme.

“This has every appearance of being an egregious and blatant violation of trust,” Johnson said, according to WITI-TV. “I was stunned, absolutely stunned, to hear the very serious allegations against her.”

Zapata’s defense claimed that she sent the ballots to Brandjen “because she knew she would not cast the ballots and because of her history with election fraud claims,” the Journal Sentinel reported.

“She is the most vocal election fraud politician that I know of, and I thought that maybe this would make her stop and think and redirect her focus away from these outrageous conspiracy theories to something that’s actually real,” Zapata told the police.

“I did not think it through,” she added . “I didn’t have some manipulative plan.”

The rationale behind her actions? Engaging in this unlawful behavior was an integral aspect of fulfilling her duties as an election official.

It was then reported that Zapata felt “frustrated” by what she interpreted as “meritless issues” regarding election integrity and “wanted to alert them to what she viewed as a true vulnerability in Wisconsin’s voting system. To do that, she has said, she generated three ballots under the names of fictitious military members and sent them to one of the legislature’s leading election deniers.”

She mentioned that at first, she had a “flicker of optimism” that the clerks who received the request would identify the requests for fraudulent ballots as dubious and refrain from issuing them.

“That’s not how it unfolded, however, and all three military absentee ballots were sent to Brandtjen’s Menomonee Falls home,” the Journal Sentinel reported.

Prosecutors were having absolutely none of it however, as the Assistant District Attorney told the jury: “The appropriate way to raise a concern is to bring forth information, it’s not to commit a crime.”

“If Ms. Zapata felt this information needed to be brought to light, there was multiple, legitimate avenues she could have taken. She chose instead to take the avenue of breaking the law.”