Waukesha County is the only county in the state still “recounting” ballots in the State Supreme Court race. From the moment (two days after voting ended) Kathy Nickolaus declared “not reporting” City of Brookfield votes giving David Prosser a 7,000+ vote lead over Joanne Kloppenburg, Waukesha County has been at the center of the storm. For good reason, as irregularities in Waukesha County under Nickolaus go back to 2006. Initial ballot security issues on recount day one occurred with Town of Brookfield ballots. An return email to bdgrdemocracy from Reid Magney (GAB spokesman) stated that no GAB staff were on site in any of 72 counties. In fact, staff remained in Madison, available to field calls and questions from…the field. Now only one county is still recounting, and the GAB still remains in Madison. While the GOP wrings it’s hands over voter ID, claiming widespread voter fraud by the electorate (which has never proven to be the case in Wisconsin)- potential real fraud exists in Waukesha County, at the hands of those elected to monitor elections. There have been GAB staffers in and out on a part time basis, but let me be clear – there is still no full time, election monitoring attorney from GAB on site in Waukesha County. Even after many documented anomalies.
The first 5 of 6 ballot bags from the City of Brookfield had serious security issues, some seen in these pictures first posted on bradblog, from Mary Magnuson:
Open bags, unsecured, numbers missing, numbers crossed out, bags resealed and renumbered. Literally, a mess. According to Melissa Mulliken (Kloppenburg Campaign), irregularities have persisted. Bags are counted, set aside, and objections documented by a court reporter for permanent record. When questioned in the presence of a Court Reporter and Judge taking a statement on record in regard to the bag condition, the City of Brookfield Clerk said, “I don’t know.” She had no explanation for the unsecured bags. Some GOP operatives have gone so far as to accuse union highway workers in Waukesha County of tampering with the bags – to make it “look bad.” Almost the same story GOP operatives gave for Mark Pocan’s deceased father’s name being on a recall petition. Here’s the problem – it looked bad BEFORE the discovery of these security issues. Now, it plain stinks.
Throughout this recount, the Prosser Campaign has revealed how little it cares about Democracy, and how completley partisan he is. His “victory lap” with Republican Legislators (including Scott Jensen) was a farce. Their continual focus on the numbers game and pushing to get the counting done (much like GOP legislators pushing their agenda through) serves Prosser’s political future only. Joanne Kloppenburg’s Campaign has been clear all along. This is a Constitutional recount, and the process of vetting this election is more important than who wins or loses. This election and recount continues to disenfranchise voters, cast doubt on the openness of elections, and tarnish the clean government reputation Wisconsin has held forever.
As irregularities continue to be documented, there will undoubtedly be a legal challenge to the vote in Waukesha County. Well it should. Either of the parties have 5 days after voting is completed to file a challenge – expect a strenuous legal challenge from Kloppenburg, at least in Waukesha County. The GAB should be on-site, to witness first hand every irregularity prior to any legal challenge. The conduct of Kathy Nickolaus and her staff must be investigated, and she should resign. Her computer should have been ordered seized and investigated by the GAB from day 1 – it should still be completely checked – every keystroke. This and other writers, members of Congress, State lawmakers, citizens all have called for a non-partisan and complete investigation. It has not happened. A message for the GAB – this is not about keeping up the appearance of open and honest elections in Wisconsin. It is about CONDUCTING open and honest elections, and assuring the public you are capable of doing such. Your continued absence in light of what is at least incompetence, at most a fraud in Waukesha County is inexcusable. Yes, you are busy. We are all busy. Recounts, recalls, ultra conservative legislation threatening our state as we know it – we are all overwhelmed. This is your charge – your action, not mere presence is required. The people of Wisconsin deserve answers. You are required to find them – if you are too close to the people involved, find someone who will.
To contact Kevin Kennedy, GAB Director: (608)266-8005