Rare voter fraud case ends with jail sentence

Woman accused of voting in the name of her dead partner pleads no contest
Ozaukee Press staff

A rare voter fraud case that plodded through the Ozaukee County Court system over the course of nearly two years ended earlier this month when a 50-year-old woman pleaded no contest to using an absentee ballot to vote in the name of her dead partner in the Nov. 3, 2020, election.

Christine A. Daikawa, who pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor and one felony the day before her trial was scheduled to begin, was sentenced by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Steve Cain to three months in the county jail during a Sept. 12 hearing.

Because Daikawa was convicted of a felony, she cannot vote until her civil rights are restored.

According to a criminal complaint filed on Nov. 23, 2020, Daikawa signed the ballot, which was deposited in a City of Cedarburg ballot drop-off box on election day, as the witness and later told authorities she also signed her dead partner’s name as the voter.

Daikawa, who had a Thiensville address but was found living at her deceased partner’s house in Cedarburg, said she also voted in person via absentee ballot in Thiensville on Oct. 28.

But the absentee ballot cast in Cedarburg, which was requested on March 28 and mailed on Sept. 16, didn’t count. It was rejected after being caught by poll workers on the day of the election when they entered it into the My Vote state database, which allows voters to track their ballots, and discovered the voter was dead, City of Cedarburg Clerk Tracie Sette said in November 2020.

Sette said that after investigating the ballot she turned the matter over to police.

  A Cedarburg police officer found an obituary for the alleged voter and learned that Daikawa, in addition to signing the ballot as the witness, had been the partner of the person named on the ballot.

When confronted by the officer, Daikawa admitted that both signatures on the ballot envelope were hers and said, “I did it, but I didn’t mean to,” the complaint states.

According to the officer, Daikawa later said “that she committed voter fraud and that she’s now going to jail,” according to the complaint.

“I’ve been a clerk for 4-1/2 years and I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Sette said, adding that the case demonstrates that safeguards meant to prevent voter fraud work.

“With all the talk about voter fraud lately, it’s good to see the system works,” she said.



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