Unable to face the notion that Americans don’t like their ideas, Republicans predictably were screaming voter fraud regarding the Wisconsin state Supreme Court race today, after Kloppenburg beat incumbent Prosser by 204 votes. But they don’t need to do that anymore because a clerk in the very conservative county Waukesha County has just “found” 14,000 votes on a spreadsheet that nets 7,500 votes for the conservative Prosser. If these new results stand, there will be no recount.
The new results in Waukesha Count show Prosser with 92,263 votes and Kloppenburg with 32,758. Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus attributed the failure to report the votes yesterday as “human error”. She explained that she had forgotten to hit save after she entered the numbers into the system. She claims the mistake happened on the “day to day” system she uses in her office. However, Nickolaus has been under scrutiny before for election related issues, including a 2002 criminal investigation into illegal activity by members of the assembly Republican Caucus. She resigned her state job in 2002 and ran for county clerk.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports:
Last year, county officials raised objections to her practice of storing election data off the county’s computer network, instead keeping it on computers in her office, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The practice prevented the county’s information technology specialists from verifying that the system was secure from failing, the county’s director of administration said at the time. Auditors later recommended that Nickolaus improve security and backup procedures.
In 2001, Nickolaus was granted immunity to testify about her role as a computer analyst for the Assembly Republican Caucus, then under investigation — along with the Senate Republican Caucus and the Democratic caucuses for both houses — for using state resources to secretly run campaigns.
Nickolaus, a seven-year employee of the ARC, headed up an effort to develop a computer program that averaged the performance of Republicans in statewide races by ward.
Also, the state asked the Supreme Court today to override Judge Sumi’s restraining order on the anti-union bill. Last week a Republican law maker who accused protesters of vandalizing his car was found to be incorrect, after police examined the car and found it was the victim of a stray rock coming from the road.
Walker and the Republican are marching ahead with this law, and apparently felt oddly confident today that the Supreme Court would be helpful to them in over-riding a judge’s order.
Wisconsin Politics explains:
Nickolaus said she failed to properly save a spreadsheet after inputting the Brookfield numbers Election Night, leading to the error. Once she ran the report to show the aggregate numbers for the county, she assumed incorrectly the Brookfield numbers were included.
She stressed it was not a case of votes being found. “I’m thankful that this error was caught early in the process and during the canvass,” Nickolaus said. “The purpose of the canvass is to catch these kinds of errors.”
Actually, it is a case of votes being found, whether they got “lost” on a spreadsheet or a missing ballots, yesterday they were missing and today they are found, unless she is saying they were created. I’m left wondering how someone “finds” 7,500 votes in a conservative county, with a Republican as head of the election committee and the person who “found” the votes has already come under scrutiny twice for not using proper security measures with election computers (leaving data off of the county system all together with no back up of it) and was also the computer analyst for the Assembly Republican Caucus. I’d like to know why she wasn’t fired after the second investigation.
It’s not as if the Republicans have followed the law up until this point; they haven’t. The Senate Republicans are still running from the law in Wisconsin, hiding under dubious claims of legislative immunity.
In fact, it strains credulity and logic alike to be asked to assume the Wisconsin Republicans have just started following the law today, and therefore it seems a non-partisan investigation is in order, starting with an open records request prior to making a call in the state Supreme Court race. These results won’t stand; they will be challenged.