Wis. Elections Board: ‘No Major Discrepancies’ In Waukesha County Vote Numbers

The Wisconsin Governmental Accountability Board, which oversees elections, has released a statement on its review of the vote-counting problems in Waukesha County, where the announced discovery of un-tabulated votes put incumbent conservative Justice David Prosser ahead in the state Supreme Court race against his liberal-backed opponent JoAnne Kloppenburg. And according to the GAB, the numbers check out.

From the GAB’s press release:

We are satisfied that the numbers reported by the municipalities were consistent with the numbers certified by the Waukesha County Board of Canvassers. Although staff identified a few anomalies, the G.A.B. finds no major discrepancies between Waukesha County’s official canvass report and the documentation provided by the municipalities.

G.A.B. staff members spent four days reviewing the election materials from all reporting units in Waukesha County, and interviewed Clerk Kathy Nickolaus. We will continue our investigation into issues related to the reporting of vote totals on Election Night and reports from the 2006 election posted on the Waukesha County website.

The GAB also gave details of its investigation:

The review was conducted over four days and focused on auditing the Spring Election materials, including:

• Total Votes Cast Report from Voting Equipment
• Ballot Container Security Seals/Documentation
• Inspectors’ Statement- Election Day Log
• Write-In Form
• Security Documentation of Voting Equipment Memory Devices
• Certification Page of Poll List

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 the press conference last week.

Since then, Democrats have been crying foul about the race — and also raising doubts about past election results in the county, as well. For her part, Nickolaus has responded to the criticism and said she will not resign: “I will serve the remainder of my term. I understand why people are upset and I am taking this matter seriously. Again, I am sorry for my mistake.”

Prosser declared victory on Monday, with a lead of 0.488%. And although that is still within the 0.5% margin that entitles Kloppenburg to request a recount at state and local expense, Prosser’s attorney Jim Troupis said that the campaign would object to any request for a recount, though Troupis declined to say on what legal grounds an objection would be made.

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