VOTING IRREGULARITY: 11,059 Votes For The GOP-Backed Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidate Suddenly Show Up, Two Days After The Election


HUFFINGTON POST: In a dramatic turn of events on Thursday, the Waukesha County clerk announced that the vote total announced for Tuesday’s Wisconsin Supreme Court race had been mistaken — and that the corrected numbers changed the outcome of the entire election. There were 3,456 missing votes for Democratic-backed challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg and 11,059 for incumbent GOP-backed Justice David Prosser. Kloppenburg has previously been beating Prosser by just 200 votes of the roughly 1.5 million cast statewide. The new total puts Prosser on a significant path to victory, about 7,500 votes ahead of Kloppenburg. MORE

PETER BARCA (D), WISCONSIN ASSEMBLY MINORITY LEADER: The way Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus revealed her discovery of 14,300 previously uncounted votes raises disturbing questions, particularly in light of her past partisan history. She has been the subject of multiple complaints from other Waukesha officials on how she handles elections and keeps public information to herself outside the official county system where others can verify it. The new Supreme Court race vote totals she “discovered” during canvassing not only swung the election but also put the race just barely past the amount needed to trigger a state-financed recount. It is especially troubling that she waited more than 24 hours to report the startling discovery and then did so at a press conference and only after she verified the results. This makes it all the harder to challenge and audit the integrity of the vote. The partisan, political history of Ms. Nickolaus and the serious concerns about the quality of her performance found in an audit raises the question of whether an investigation is warranted. The public deserves to know that the votes were counted properly. MOREWisconsinSupremeCourtSeal_2.gif

RELATED: From 1989-1994, Prosser served as Minority Leader. From 1995-1996, he was Speaker. Nickolaus was a staff member during this time. As Wisconsin State Journal reporter Mary Spicuzza noted on Twitter, “Kathy Nickolaus worked for Assembly Republican Caucus when Prosser was Speaker. Caucus is controlled by speaker, so he is her former boss.” MORE

RELATED: Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus’ decision to go it alone in how she collects and maintains election results has some county officials raising a red flag about the integrity of the system. Nickolaus said she decided to take the election data collection and storage system off the county’s computer network – and keep it on stand-alone personal computers accessible only in her office – for security reasons. “What it gave me was good security of the elections from start to finish, without the ability of someone unauthorized to be involved,” she said. Nonetheless, Director of Administration Norman A. Cummings said because Nickolaus has kept them out of the loop, the county’s information technology specialists have not been able to verify Nickolaus’ claim that the system is secure from failure. “How does anybody else in the county know, except for her verbal word, that there are backups, and that the software she has out there is performing as it should?” he said. “There’s no way I can assure that the election system is going to be fine for the next presidential election.” MORE

FORBES: It is strange that we should suddenly find over 7,000 missing votes in a county that uses a different system than the rest with little to no oversight of the results. There may not be any fraud at all, but it does raise questions. It’s also a little odd that you have the clerk, Nickolaus, claiming that her system is secure from failure and then somehow magically turning up over seven thousand votes that were missing due to a computer error. MORE

LA TIMES: The only thing certain was that the results mean more conflict for the normally genial Midwestern state, which saw its political culture changed after Walker introduced his proposal on unions in February. The bill sparked huge protests, the flight of 14 Democratic state senators to Illinois in a futile attempt to stop its passage and a lawsuit that has halted the law’s implementation. “What’s begun is a tough battle that’s going to go for the next year and a half,” said Curt Anderson, a Republican consultant who cut an ad in support of Prosser last week as conservative groups poured money into the race. “It’ll be a long, ugly, bloody summer.” MORE

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