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Kimberly Zapata, deputy director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, was fired for allegedly requesting fraudulent military ballots and sending them to Wisconsin Assembly member Janel Brandtjen, a Republican representing Menomonee Falls.

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson announced Nov. 3 that he fired Zapata, who is accused of sending absentee ballots to Brandtjen under the name “Holly,” with three different last names. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the incident and expects to file charges soon.

The motive behind Zapata’s alleged actions are not yet clear. Brandtjen, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections, has held hearings bolstering false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election. Claire Woodall-Vogg, the executive director of Milwaukee’s Election Commission, said she believes Zapata used the state’s MyVote website to point out that “you can go onto the public system, make up a person and request the ballot.”


Wisconsin Public Radio: Milwaukee election official fired after fraudulently requesting military ballots and sending them to state lawmaker

WISN: Milwaukee election worker under investigation for ballot fraud

Mayor Cavalier Johnson: The City of Milwaukee has removed the Deputy Director of our Election Commission following stunning information about allegations against her.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee Election Commission official Kimberly Zapata could face charges accusing her of fraudulently requesting military ballots

Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.