A Wisconsin family says their mother's vote was stolen while she was in hospice and illegally counted after she passed away in October.
"She was in hospice at the time the absentee ballot was received and had no idea what was happening in the world," said a family member.
Miriam, whose name has been changed to protect her identity and that of her family, was 84 years old and had been in declining mental health for years. A native of Germany who moved to the United States with her husband in the 1950s, Miriam's condition worsened to the point that she could no longer even speak English in her final few months.
"She had regressed to only speaking German the last six months," a family member explained. "There's just no way she could have voted."
Yet she did. According to publicly available voter records, Miriam's completed absentee ballot was returned on September 21st. She died three weeks later.
Under Wisconsin Statute § 6.21, Miriam's vote should not have counted since she died prior to the election in which she cast her ballot.
"Absentee voting procedures allow an elector to complete a ballot before election day," the Wisconsin Elections Commission explains on its website. "However, absentee ballots are not considered cast until election day. If the voter is deceased at the time the absentee ballot is being processed at the polling place, the ballot cannot be counted."
Miriam's ballot, though, was counted.
Even though her family attests that Miriam had not been mentally competent enough to apply for and then cast a ballot in years, she has been voting consistently for years. According to state records, she cast an absentee ballot in November's general election, the August primary, and the spring election as well as in last year's spring election and the 2018 general election and August primary.
Before that, she voted in person on Election Day in the 2016 presidential election. Her family believes that someone took advantage of Miriam's "indefinitely confined" status, which allowed the state to send her a ballot for each election without her having to request one.
As her health steadily declined, Miriam's voting actually became more regular--which her family claims is impossible. They have begun the process of investigating who voted for Miriam and are considering involving law enforcement because, as one family member put it, "This is fraud, pure and simple."