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Wis. Court Recount Off To Rough Start In Waukesha County

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

As canvassers and tabulators compared a numbered seal on a bag with the number recorded for that bag by a town election inspector who prepared the paperwork on election night, the numbers didn't match.

"What a great way to start," one official tabulator said.

Observers from the campaigns of Justice David Prosser and JoAnne Kloppenburg both agreed, however, that the error seemed to be in the inspector's use of a "2" instead of a "3." Numbers on the sealing tag and on the bag did match. Both sides and the Board of Canvassers agreed that the bag should be opened and the votes counted.

And oddly enough, the bag was from the Town of Brookfield -- a different place that is not to be confused with the City of Brookfield, which has been at the center of the vote-counting controversies in the county.

Wednesday, April 6, the day after the election, Kloppenburg declared victory on the basis of Associated Press figures showing 100% of precincts reported, with Kloppenburg enjoying the very narrow lead of 204 votes out of nearly 1.5 million.

Then that Thursday, as counties were conducting the official canvass to check for errors in their election night spreadsheets that were reported to the media, Nickolaus announced the discovery of un-tabulated votes from the city of Brookfield -- giving Prosser a net gain of over 7,000 -- saying that her own error had resulted in them not being properly imported and saved into the county's database.

"I'm thankful that this error was caught early in the process and during the canvass," Nickolaus said at her press conference at the time.

Last week, the state Government Accountability Board (which oversees elections) released a statement that its study of the vote numbers in Waukesha County found that the totals checked out on the ballot-scanning equipment and other documentation from the municipalities.