Thursday, April 07, 2011

We used to have elections we could trust. (Publicus Proventus)

I was going to write up something about Paul Ryan being a hypocrite who wants to allow the rich to take from the poor, but then something else caught my eye and I couldn't help but talk about it.

The thing that caught my eye is the suspicion that there might be massive voter fraud... in Waukesha County, in favor of Still-Justice-Maybe David Prosser.

This is verbatim from the One Wisconsin Now website:

Election Returns: What Went On in Waukesha?
After Hours of Silence, Embattled Clerk Reports Wildly-High Turnout in Prosser’s Top County

Madison -- As counties statewide move to certify Tuesday’s shocking upset victory by JoAnne Kloppenburg over heavily-favored David Prosser, unanswered questions remain about returns from Tuesday night in Waukesha County -- the top-performing county in the state for Scott Walker’s self-proclaimed “complement” on the Supreme Court.

“Wisconsin deserves elections that are fair, clean and transparent,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “There is a history of secrecy and partisanship surrounding the Waukesha County Clerk and there remain unanswered questions.”

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, a former staffer for the Assembly Republican Caucus, has been sharply criticized in recent months for her handling of recent elections. Even the archly-conservative Waukesha County Board has sharply condemned Nickolaus after past elections, demanding an immediate audit of her practices following ominous red-flags that emerged regarding her lack of oversight, failure to create backup files and her stubborn insistence to “keep everything secret.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/18/10; 1/17/11]

The County auditors said it was eminently possible -- including historical precedent -- for Nickolaus or a rogue employee to tamper with data. Why? Nickolaus insists on controlling password access and has unilaterally decided to move sensitive files, like election results, onto her personal computer.

Nickolaus has actually scoffed at complying with impartial audits, thumbing her nose at critics. A move that drew a sharp reaction at the time from the County Board Chair:

“There really is nothing funny about this, Kathy,” said Waukesha County Board Chairman Jim Dwyer when Nickolaus willfully ignored complying with the earlier impartial audit. “Don’t sit there and grin when I'm explaining what this is about.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/18/10; 1/17/11]

On Tuesday, shockingly-large turnout suddenly emerged from Waukesha County, which did not comport with either the results of previous spring elections, or even internal estimates from city officials mid-day. In fact, a Waukesha City Deputy Clerk said at 1:18pm that turnout was very typical, predicting somewhere between 20 to 25 percent. As Tuesday night wore on, reporting in Waukesha County stopped altogether for hours, leaving observers to wonder what was going on. Then suddenly, results suggesting massive turnout started to pour in rapidly with Prosser adding dramatically to his total by a 73-27 percent margin.

One Wisconsin Now estimates put overall turnout near 38 percent, a wild outlier to historical data and the earlier mid-day estimation of Waukesha’s own officials. In April 2009, turnout was 20 percent; April 2008, turnout was 22 percent and in April 2007, turnout was 24 percent. All of these elections had hotly-contested Supreme Court races as well.

I was all set to dismiss that as exaggeration and/or hyperbole, but then I saw that another county had suddenly come up with pro-Prosser numbers that might change the outcome of the election:

The Associated Press verified unofficial Winnebago County election returns on Wednesday morning, but the county updated its numbers at 2:27 that afternoon to show incumbent Justice David Prosser with 710 more votes and assistant attorney general JoAnne Kloppenburg with 466 more.

(Source.) Winnebago County ran low on paper ballots in some locations, according to this report. Sue Ertmer is the Winnebago County Clerk, and is listed as an "alternate" on the Winnebago County GOP contact list. (That's the picture of the site to the right.)

And then I saw that Waukesha County reported late yesterday having "found" 500-600 votes for Prosser: A Fox contributor and Young Republican sent in a report that the county had found some "lost" ballots to explain a discrepancy between votes cast in a school board race versus votes cast in the Supreme Court election.

What's interesting is that other than Winnebago and Waukesha Counties, the official canvass shows Kloppenburg netting more votes - -pulling further ahead -- in each county. Six other counties' official canvass showed that Kloppenburg was actually pulling ahead. It's just those two heavily-Republican, Republican-clerked counties that found votes.

Not that I'm pointing fingers. I can't -- I'm too busy crossing them hoping that the election won't actually be tampered with.


Rogue Mutt said...

The ink is probably still wet on those "found" votes.

anna. said...

This is starting to get ridiculous. Can we PLEASE just have a clean, honest election? Is that really so much to ask? Just wondering.

*shakes head*