Wis. GOP Clerk Hands Huge Lead to Prosser, After ‘Find’ of 14,315 Votes
April 8, 2011
(ChattahBox Political News)—Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg was riding high early yesterday, clinging to a narrow lead of just 204 votes, over her conservative opponent Justice David Prosser. But that was before Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus happened to discover 14,315 votes that were somehow left out of the final count, putting Prosser in the lead by 7,582 votes. It’s a huge number for Kloppenburg to overcome with re-canvassing efforts and a recount. But the whole suddenly “finding” 14,315 votes thing, is bizarre and smells fishy. Kathy Nickolaus used to work for the Wisconsin Assembly Republican Caucus, before she resigned in 2002 after being granted immunity to testify in a brewing Republican ethics scandal. During her time working for the Assembly Republicans, Prosser was in effect her boss, serving as Minority Leader and Speaker, before he left to serve on the state Supreme Court. Also, Nickolaus has been criticized for subverting the integrity of the electoral system, by storing election data on her personal computer. On Thursday, she attributed the lost votes to “human error” and neglecting to hit the “save” button. It’s all very strange, but it’s looking less like fraud and more like rank incompetence and amateur hour. Both sides have now retained attorneys for a possible recount and investigation into what exactly occurred in Waukesha County.
Kloppenburg immediately filed open records requests, as a start, to get to the bottom of what went down on Nickolaus’ personal computer.
“Wisconsin voters as well as the Kloppenburg for Justice Campaign deserve a full explanation of how and why these 14,000 votes from an entire City were missed. To that end, we will be filing open records requests for all relevant documentation related to the reporting of election results in Waukesha County, as well as to the discovery and reporting of the errors announced by the County. We are confident that election officials in Waukesha County will fulfill these requests as quickly as possible so that both our campaign and the people of Wisconsin can fully understand what happened and why. Just as Assistant Attorney General Kloppenburg has run to restore confidence in the court, Wisconsin residents also deserve to have full confidence in election results,” read the statement from Kloppenburg.
Kloppenburg and Prosser are both arming themselves with top legal talent. Once the re-canvassing is complete, Kloppenburg will have a better idea, if she falls within the 0.5 percent threshold to call for a recount that would be paid by the state.
Meanwhile, whatever the outcome, this latest development will only add more fuel to the fire of the Democratic recall efforts, to retake control of the state senate and put more pressure on the union-busting Gov. Scott Walker (R).
Photo Source: Madison, Wisconsin protest/Jessie Reeder’s Flickr/ Creative Commons Attribution.