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(Reposted with Brad's permission)

EXCLUSIVE: WI State Election Board Failed to Review Minutes From Waukesha County 'Recount' Before Certifying Supreme Court Election Results

Mountains of irregularities, more than 800 official exhibits, and objections by candidate's attorneys never examined by top state election authority before razor-thin results for 10-year seat on state's high court certified as 'correct'...

Last Monday, May 23rd, Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), the state's top election agency, officially certified the controversial results of the extraordinarily close April 5th statewide Supreme Court election and its subsequent "recount".

However, as The BRAD BLOG has learned, the agency certified those results without reviewing hundreds of official exhibits documenting wholesale ballot irregularities, on-the-record objections from the attorneys of the candidate who filed for the "recount", and thousands of pages of official transcripts and minutes documenting the entire "recount" process from the election's most controversial county.

Even more alarming, the agency doesn't even yet have a copy of the hundreds, if not thousands of pages which make up the official minutes documenting the nearly month-long "recount" from Waukesha County --- the last of the state's 72 counties to complete their count, and by far the most controversial county following the late discovery there of some 14,000 votes not included in the county's original Election Night results.

Indeed, the G.A.B. admits, they may not even have those minutes for another two weeks, despite the already-issued certification of the election results, and despite the fact that the statutory deadline for a candidate to file a challenge to those certified results in court is tomorrow (Tuesday).

The official minutes from most of the other 71 counties, as documented during the "recount" of the razor-thin, highly contentious election for a 10-year term on the state's high court between incumbent Republican Justice David Prosser and his independent challenger Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, have been posted on the G.A.B.'s website for some time, with the 71st, Milwaukee County, finally posted late last week.

With Kloppenburg set to announce her decision on whether to seek a judicial review tomorrow, Waukesha's lengthy and detailed minutes are not posted for public review with all of the others, despite massive and alarming irregularities discovered during the "recount" process there over the past month (see here, here, and here for just a few of many examples), because the G.A.B. has not been given them by the county, as state officials conceded during phone conversations late last week...


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Town of Brookfield: (link)

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.

Number of ballots: ??? (I'm going to estimate about 300ish given the averages per bag we've seen)

Delafield #1: (link)

"At around 2:15pm, we were ready to open the bags for Delafield. There were three bags total. Bags 1 & 2 were fine. The numbers all matched up. When we got to bag 3, we found out that the bag # was NOT RECORDED ON THE INSPECTOR'S statement...!"

Number of ballots: estimated 350

Delafield #2: (link)

Delafield again. 1 of 2 bags had a corrected seal number, matching its new tag and what had been entered in journal, due to a small tear having been made at top of bag by ballots after the original seal and its number had been affixed.

[The clerk] also said that the bag was so full that they thought it might tear. So to remedy that situation, they REMOVED THE ORIGINAL SEAL, took the ballots out, put them into a new bag with a new seal, and put that bag back into the original bag with a new seal.

Number of ballots: estimated 500-800

Verona (link)

Burns found the bundle unbagged. They were bagged and he drove them to Madison. The bag had no signatures or initials.

But the chain of custody was compromised. Not only did Masarik admit that her office was sometimes left unlocked while she was at lunch, a cleaning person had access to the office after hours.

Number of ballots: 97

Genesee (link)

Just after 1:15 p.m., Waukesha County canvassers began the recount for the Town of Genesee, wards 6, 9, and 10. They immediately identified a bag of ballots where the bag and label serial numbers matched each other but did not match the number written on the official inspection report from that precinct.

Number of ballots: estimated 350


NEW!! Tuesday, May 3
Oconomowoc x3 (link)

Three bags of ballots from a precinct in Oconomowoc (oh-CON-eh-meh-walk) have been identified as having no serial number on their bag labels.

There are three places where the numbers should be matched. Each bag is sealed with a tamper-evident tag or seal. That tag has a serial number on it. Elections officials are supposed to write that serial number on the bag label when they seal it, sign the bag, and also log the serial number on the official election inspection report.

Waukesha County officials discovered that all three ballot bags from a precinct consisting of wards 4, 5, 6, 14 and 22 in Oconomowoc had nothing written on the bag labels. The bag seal (or tag) serial numbers match the inspection report, and the bag is signed by two people who also signed the inspection report.

The municipal clerk from that area (not the County Clerk) was asked if she had an explanation. She said she had none.

Number of ballots: ??? (estimated 300 per bag, so maybe 900ish?)


NEW!! Added Tuesday, May 3
Chenequa (link)

We also had a bag on Saturday with no signatures on it.
From the Village of Chenequa. There were 233 votes in it. It reconciled to the tapes- though Prosser picked up one. It's a VERY rich, VERY elite community and is was like 204 to 25 or something (a few no votes).

Number of ballots: 233

NEW!! Wednesday, May 4
Oconomowoc #4 (link)

At around 1:35pm on Tue May 3, Waukesha county canvassers discussed a fourth bag from the city of Oconomowoc that was so improperly sealed that it had a gap large enough to allow ballot stuffing. Instead of dropping it into a new bag with a new seal and an explanation, election officials merely taped up the gap with non-tamper-proof tape and kept the bag in a vault, which also has no safeguards to prevent tampering.

Number of ballots: 311

Picture of 4th bag from Oconomowoc

City of Brookfield x6 (link)

The JoAnne Kloppenburg campaign objected this morning to the opening and counting of 6 bags of ballots from the City of Brookfield during Waukesha County's recount of the April 5th Supreme Court election.

Despite his own statement that "There are several bags that appear to be improperly sealed," a member of the Waukesha County canvass board ordered the Brookfield bags opened and counted, stating the board could only note the objections, allow photos to be taken, and let someone else decide later what to do about it. Presumably he meant the courts, if the Kloppenburg campaign decides to pursue an objection to the recount results.

Number of ballots: ???  (average seems to be about 300 per ballot bag though, so I'm estimating 1800 ballots)


So 16 instances of fuck-ups with ballots / chain of custody, 15 from Waukesha county alone!!!

Total number of suspicious ballots: estimated 5,000 ballots (ALL but 97 ballots were in Waukesha county)

A few hundred more here, a few hundred more there (all across Wisconsin but mostly in Waukesha county), and all the sudden the total will end up at the magic 14,000+ number.

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Fox News is already doing its part to feed the birthers’ collective delusion. Immediately after the news broke that Obama’s long form birth certificate is available, Fox ran a banner headline claiming that the White House had only released “what it says” is the President’s birth certificate

Rest of the story at Think Progress

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So, on Monday I saw this great diary by yourguide about irregularities in Waukesha county going back to 2004. Among irregularities including 96% turnout in Waukesha (holy voting pride, batman!) I noticed a gem in that diary about the Nov 2006 election votes exceeding the total ballots reported, and I knew that it needed to be highlighted so I started this diary on Monday.

To paraphrase:
Waukesha county lists 156k ballots cast, but more than 176k for Governor and 174k for Attorney General (a race that Walker-lackey Van Hollen won by only 8859 votes statewide). Well by Tuesday the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had picked up on the story and asked Kathy Nickolaus for comment. On Tuesday, Kathy claims: Oops! Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement!

*The Number of Ballots Cast do not reflect all results, only those electronically sent.
(Ballots cast will not be equal to official votes cast)

That was added on Tuesday to the Waukesha county elections website. Obviously, ballots totals Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement. There's an asterisk up there now, see!

After some ridicule about that initial update from her office, Kathy Nickolaus had to re-clarify things on the Waukesha county elections website. Now at the top of the page:

What does Ballot Cast mean in the summary reports?

Ballot Cast is the number of ballots that were fed through the election machines at the polling places and the results were collected using a modem in the office. It does NOT include any hand entered results.
Number of Votes in a particular contest or race is the number of votes certified after canvassing. The results collected using a modem and any results hand entered in the office on election night.

Why would the ballots cast be higher than the number of people that voted in a specific contest or race?
The ballots cast are not adjusted when a person doesn’t vote for that contest, a person votes for too many people in that contest, a person sends through a blank ballot, or when a person writes in a statement instead of a name and is not counted as a vote in the scattering section.

Why would the ballots cast be lower than the number of people that voted in a specific contest or race?
The ballots cast would be lower if a portion of the results were entered by hand.

How can the percentage of turnout be so high?
Waukesha County is known for higher than State average turnout.  In addition the turnout is calculated using the number of registered voters, prior to Election Day.  As Wisconsin allows for Election Day registration the turnout number would be skewed dependent on the number of people that registered Election Day.


Do you believe Kathy's excuse that 17,243 ballots needed to be hand-counted in Waukesha county's 2006 AG race, but then not added into ballot totals like in previous and subsequent years?

78%129 votes
20%34 votes
0%1 votes
0%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 165 votes | Vote | Results

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Directly from the election results for 2006

156,804 - Total ballots cast in Waukesha county
176,112 - Total votes for Governor/Lt Governor race
174,244 - Total votes for US Senator
174,047 - Total votes for Attorney General
170,440 - Total votes for Secretary of State
168,861 - Total votes for State Treasurer

Brought to you by Kathy Nickolaus.

Partially sourced from this great diary.

The numbers speak for themselves.

In this 2006 election, Van Hollen won the election for Attorney General with these numbers:

1,065,453 - Van Hollen (R)
1,056,594 - Falk (D)

A difference of 8,859 votes STATEWIDE.

Waukesha county, Kathy Nickolaus' playground, reports 17,243 more votes cast for the Attorney General race in Waukesha county than there were total number of ballots cast.

How many more of those "extra" 17,243 votes were for Van Hollen than were for Kathleen Falk?? I'm guessing it's somewhere right about 8,900 votes :P

Since that election, Van Hollen has become infamous for forging the WI Secretary of State's name on the appeal of the TRO against the WI anti-union bill and then getting fired as the SoS' legal representation as a result. He's Walker's man, through and through.

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Update: Brookfield mystery solved - I had read her statement that 11,059 new votes had been discovered and mis-interpreted that as being Brookfield only, but she was counting 10,859 Brookfield and 200 from the New Berlin ward.

But a discrepancy still exists: she admits to 3 errors; omitting Brookfield, clerical error in New Berlin ward entering 37 instead of 237 for Prosser, and an adjustment in the town of Lisbon (pop approx 11,000) that DECREASED the totals for both Prosser and Kloppenburg by an undisclosed amount.

Kathy Nickolaus stated in her presser that the totals for both were reduced but the outcome remained the same, Prosser won - but omitted the details of how many votes were adjusted and WHY they were adjusted down? Were they ineligible voters? Double-counted originally? What was it.

So to recap:

10,589 Prosser
3,456 Kloppenburg

New Berlin
+200 for Prosser due to clerical error

Undisclosed amount of votes decreased for both candidates.

So according to her math,
10,859 + 200 - ?? = 11,589
3,456 - ?? = 3,456

Am I missing something this time on the Lisbon discrepancy? If the results she released on Tuesday to the GAB and AP had bad numbers for Lisbon, why were the corrections for Lisbon not reflected in her press conference?  The total amount of "new votes" that were reported, one would assume, would include Brookfield, New Berlin, and the reductions to Lisbon. So where's the numbers from Lisbon?

 The OFFICIAL Kloppenburg campaign website is at
Click Contribute to donate to recount effort.

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On Wednesday when everyone knew Kloppenburg to be the winner, this is what Walker had to say:

JoAnne Kloppenburg has claimed victory in the state Supreme Court election. There's one thing Kloppenburg and Governor Scott Walker appear to agree on – the race for the Supreme Court was NOT a referendum on Walker's policies. "I don't think it was a referendum at all on Governor Walker's policies," Kloppenburg said Wednesday. "The policy making is taking place where it belongs, in the legislative and executive branches."

Walker had a different rationale on why the vote was not a referendum on him. "You have two very different worlds in the state. You've got a world driven by Madison, and a world driven by everybody else, the majority out across the state of Wisconsin," said Walker, repeating his oft stated assertion that Wisconsin is not so much a politically red state or a blue state as it is a purple one.

Kloppenburg declared victory on the basis of a final statewide tally which showed her separated from Justice David Prosser by just 204 votes. "The numbers show that we won, and we are gratified to have that victory in hand," she said. The victory is not quite in Kloppenburg’s grasp, however.

A recount could begin as soon as next week. "As long as the rules are clear,   as long as there aren't ballots somehow found out of the blue that weren't counted before, things of that nature, as long as everything's above board, I think that’s fair," said Walker.

It shows a clear double standard on Walker's part. Wednesday, the election is fair as long as mysterious ballots don't suddenly appear out of nowhere. Then Thursday, Prosser picks up 7800+ in Waukesha county, 7603 from one city alone. Scott Walker knew on Wednesday that the fix was in and coming on Thursday when he made this statement.


In WI, a recount at state-expense is triggered if an election is within .5% if the candidate requests it, and we have a fully verifiable paper trail to audit election results. That means in this election with approximately 740k for Kloppenburg and 739k for Prosser, the vote gets recounted at state-expense if the election is within ~7400 votes.

So the last 2 days the WI-GOP has been scrambling trying to figure out how they can still get Prosser into office. What was the result of their brain-storming? Add a few extra votes in a friendly area (Waukesha), and call it a clerical error. But in order to steal the election, they NEED to be able to keep a recount from occurring, because a recount would expose their attempted fraud to the light of day.

So they couldn't just give Prosser a couple hundred to put him barely in the lead by 40. They had to give him more than 7500 in order to get above the threshold for a free recount, so that the only way for a recount to happen would be if Kloppenburg ponies up the money for a state-wide recount, which could be expensive. Granted, all of us in WI would be happy to donate to a potential recount effort if it gets to that point, but the resolve of the Kloppenburg camp remains to be seen.

When the Republicans have declared victory starting tomorrow, they will use the full power of their media empire to pressure KloJo to concede instead of paying for a recount. They'll say she's a sore loser if she pushes for a recount outside of the .5% margin. They'll say the gap is so wide that a recount couldn't possibly swing enough votes her way, so she shouldn't waste the time of election workers. They'll say she's just further trying to divide the people of WI. They will do EVERYTHING they can to make sure NO ONE checks the paper trail. Because the paper trail will be the nail in their coffin.

We must not let them succeed in this attempted fraud.

It is NOT a coincidence that Prosser didn't get +300 votes or +1000, it had to be +7500 or more in order for the fraud to work. +7400 just wouldn't have been enough.



Why did the GOP aim for the .5% mark?

In WI we know that an election that is within 200ish votes deserves to have a careful examination of every ballot - whichever side is ahead. We have a sense of fairness here. While technically the losing side would have to request a recount if under .5%, it's understood that no one would be accusing said candidate of having sour grapes or being a sore loser if they requested it in an election determined by ~200 votes out of 1.5 million.

But it's different when there's a 7500 vote difference, it breaks that psychological barrier that it's not close enough for a critical re-examination as the likelihood of overcoming such a deficit would be unlikely. When the candidate has to pony up their own cash because the state considers a recount of that wide of a margin to be frivolous, public opinion changes.

And you KNOW Fox News and Rush will be hammering home this meme: She's pursuing a frivolous recount and dividing the state, sour grapes, sore loser, don't be Al Gore, etc etc. The GOP is acutely aware of this psychological barrier, which is why they went for +7500 instead of +7400.

Great new diary about the criminal clerk from Walkersha county.

And it turns out she's lying when she says Microsoft Access didn't save when she closed the file. See this diary for more info

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