The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in the state, has now certified the results of the recount in the state Supreme Court election, with incumbent conservative Justice David Prosser narrowly winning re-election over his liberal-supported challenger, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, in a race that late in the game became something of a proxy battle over Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union legislation, and has seen its fair share of vote-counting controversies.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports:
The board said Prosser won by 7,004 votes after Kloppenburg picked up 312 in the monthlong recount she requested.
Kloppenburg has until May 31 to challenge the results in court. Her campaign has said they are reviewing the results and determining what to do next. Prosser’s campaign has said there is no basis for a challenge and it’s time to move on.
As WisPolitics reported, Kloppenburg spokesperson Melissa Mulliken released a statement over the weekend, which left the door open to possible legal action:
“Clerks around Wisconsin have done hard and good work on this recount and all Wisconsin residents owe them thanks. We also thank the hundreds of volunteers across the state who have served as observers.
“The recount has uncovered numerous anomalies and irregularities. Vote tallies have changed in every county.
“Now, as the process calls for, we will review the record and we will determine, based on the facts, the evidence and the law, whether to request judicial review.”
Notably, the Kloppenburg campaign has pointed to ballot-bags in the city of Brookfield in Waukesha County, the center of the controversies, where some ballot bags were not fully sealed and had holes in them. Local officials pointed to a tendency of some ballot bags that can end up being tied with weak seals, and can have holes open up when they are lifted.
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, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus (R) 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.
A month ago, shortly before Kloppenburg requested the recount, the GAB 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.