This morning, I sent the following email to Michael Haas at the Government Accountability Board, asking still unanswered questions about the conduct and implementation of the April 5 election in Waukesha County:
We spoke after the April 5 election, and I forwarded you information re the 2006 election in Waukesha County. I also posted a blog on April 14 with that information, as well as a comparison of Waukesha vs. other county results from other years https://bdgrdemocracy.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/waukesha-county-how-many-elections-should-be-recounted/
After hearing and reading Joanne Kloppenburg’s statement yesterday, I wanted to ask you some follow-up questions that are most likely stirring in many people’s minds, and I would ask you to reply on record. You can reply to this email address and include any future press releases to the same address.
1. In the GAB statement, it was stated that all ballots have been secure since election night. In regard to that statement – Did Ms. Nickolaus have access to those sealed bags in the 30+ hours between the end of the election and her announcement of the “discovered” missing votes? Since touch screens were brought in the night of the election and photocopied ballots used, was there opportunity on election night to manipulate machines and ballots cast at any of those precincts (is that a possibility your office even investigated)?
2. On election night, Waukesha county displayed a running total of total votes cast. That information is no longer available on the Waukesha County Clerk website. Here is the “Official” count document posted, which I will assume you have seen http://www.waukeshacounty.gov/uploadedFiles/Media/PDF/Elected_Officials/County_Clerk/Election_Results/20110215_unofficial_results_summary.pdf
Regarding this document and report – Every other county posts a total votes cast for the election, why not Waukesha? An honest observation of this document when compared to other counties’ official documents raise question as to its validity – The document was generated on April 7, 4:21 pm, just before (or during) Ms. Nickolaus’ press conference; it was modified (right-click, doc properties) two hours later, and is “page 1 of 2” – where or what is page 2 (or is this a blank page from a poorly created pdf)? Why is there no vote total listed for this election?
3. Your office stated its examination of the canvass totals were consistent with reported results. If 14,000 votes were not reported from the City of Brookfield in the election – what was the effect of those votes on the other races after the “discovery” of those votes? There were other races in Brookfield on that ballot – there has been no accounting of any other affected races. How is that possible?
4. Did your investigation include any examination of Ms. Nickolaus’ computer – email/communications regarding the election, data entry/transfers, key stroke, deleted/recovered files, etc.? Did it even occur to your office to examine this information?
Finally, I am not questioning your ability in overseeing a non-partisan office, nor am I doubting that you strive to assure fair elections. What I do question is the capacity of the people conducting the inquiry to act as quickly and aggressively as necessary to insure preservation of critical evidence. It has been 16 days since the election (2 of which saw no disclosure of known information). In that time, there has been time for the evidence trail to not only run cold, but to be severely altered. If you refute the fact that the pattern of behavior in Waukesha county warrants a thorough investigation, I would like to know why. In the meantime – I believe the call from Tammy Baldwin for Federal Investigation and now Ms. Kloppenburg for an independent investigation is fully warranted. I also believe she is correct that the investigators in your office were compromised by their close contact with Ms. Nickolaus. I would ask under state open records to have access to the same communications between your office and Ms. Nickolaus that Joanne Kloppenburg received.
As always, thank you for your time and effort during what is an unprecedented time.
Joanne Kloppenburg did what was required of her in this process, and the GAB must do what is required of them. At this time, the only avenue to recover confidence in elections for all parties involved is not only a recount, but a complete and forensic investigation – executed by someone capable of such an investigation. Many people (myself included) called for that type of investigation very early on – at this time, the evidence is already compromised. The questions have been asked and unanswered – the methodology needs to be as aggressive as necessary to answer them. Recount, and independent investigation will restore faith in fair elections – “nothing to see here, move along” attitude will only deepen the chasm of cynicism.