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Kathy Nickolaus

In the Wisconsin Supreme Court election, 69 of 72 counties have reported final results, with the final three likely coming in late today. Current totals show incumbent David Prosser leading by 7,303 votes, which puts the final margin close enough that Kloppenburg can request a recount without her campaign having to pay for it.

Kloppenburg has three days after the vote is certified to request a recount. However, certification will not happen until the Government Accountability Board completes its investigation into Waukesha County results and into County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus. That investigation is ongoing:

A spokesman for the GAB told TPM that they are examining both the individual precinct returns and the manner in which they were reported to the media on election night. While they cannot at this point comment on the substance of that examination, the GAB said that the County Clerk is being cooperative.

Although the investigation is ongoing, it's a pretty safe prediction that it will not find that Kathy Nickolaus tampered with vote totals. Here is why.

  • Kathy Nickolaus is not the only person in possession of vote totals from each precinct (or ward, as a precinct is called in Wisconsin). In each of the 180 wards in Waukesha County, there are multiple poll workers who also have those numbers.
  • By adding up numbers from each ward as reported by local poll workers, the Government Accountability Board (which is run entirely by people appointed by a Democratic Governor) can arrive at a vote total for Waukesha County independently of Kathy Nickolaus.
  • From that point, the Government Accountability Board can compare the ward by ward results of Waukesha County with those reported Nickolaus and see if there is any discrepancy. During this process, a difference of over 14,000 votes would be easy to find.

This is exactly what the GAB is doing, and no such discrepancy has appeared:

GAB Director Kevin Kennedy says the agency's investigation of spring election procedures in Waukesha County remains ongoing, but that the final canvass numbers in the city of Brookfield match the initial tallies from poll workers on Election Night.

As others have already reported and the GAB now appears to have confirmed, the additional votes match the total number of votes cast in the City of Brookfield on April 5.

Kathy Nickolaus is a sketchy elections official with a history of problems going back a long way (see the Kathy Nicholaus tag for more info). Additionally, it would have been abrogation of public trust if the GAB did not conduct an investigation into what happened in Waukesha County during this election. However, unless a discrepancy starts to appear between the ward-by-ward numbers reported by local poll workers and those reported by Kathy Nickolaus, then there is no evidence of fraud and nothing is going to change the apparent outcome of this election.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 08:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A full investigation (16+ / 0-)

    is in order.  Every vote should be counted and verified.  Only makes sense in a democracy.  

    Fingers are crossed this turns out in our favor in the end.

    •  One corrupt individual was possible (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thestructureguy, wader, DollyMadison

      Are you really suggesting that it actually was a conspiracy involving all of the poll workers as well?

      I would think it's a fairly good bet that the GAB has members of both parties, and if the individual poll totals add up, then this was actually a case of irritating coincidence and incompetence, not a conspiracy that would have to involve poll workers all over the area as well as Nicklaus.

      •  Poll workers are irrelevant. (15+ / 0-)

        All they do is report what the machines print out.  And since the machines are prone to fraud, failure and can easily be hacked without a trace, the results are 100% unverifiable.  It makes no difference who reported them.

        All it takes is one person to mess with the machines to affect the entire election.  No conspiracy necessary.

        •  Um, that's an entirely different conspiracy then. (5+ / 0-)

          If you want to make that claim, then you don't even need Nicklaus at all.

          •  Okay. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Diana in NoVa, pengiep

            First of all, isn't that what this diary is so far stating?  That the poll results as printed off the machines so far match what Nicklaus reported?

            However, I would actually disagree that anything is proven one way or another.   I don't really know what kind of special set-up Nicklaus had going.  But since the machines are so insecure and easily hackable, there is a possibility that her finding/adding those "found" votes (which just happen to bring her fellow republican just beyond the recount threshold) were also added to the memory card of the voting machine itself.

            Therefore, printing out the results from the machines again, which is what they are doing according to this diary, would actually just print out the new result that Nicklaus "saved".   Only by getting a court order to confiscate and investigate all the machines, software, computers, memory cards, etc...and doing a full audit will reveal the TRUE results and what really happened.

            •  If Nicklaus was part of what you suggest (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mr crabby, DollyMadison, Jon Says

              she wouldn't have waited to 'find' results that would cause investigations and a possible recount.

              She would simply have announced them right away, leaving people grumbling, but not talking about investigations or recounts.

              •  exactly (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ezekial 23 20, DollyMadison, Jon Says

                why fudge the numbers on the front end and then "forget" to report them on the back end?

                You are just asking for scrutiny where it otherwise would never have come.

              •  I couldn't disagree more. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OHdog, pengiep

                Here is what we know.  All results were reported.  The count was too close to come to a definite conclusion and a recount was likely.

                Suddenly, Nicklaus "found" some votes that she claims were never counted which favored the Republican just enough that it put him beyond the possibility for a recount.

                This is suspcious no matter what side you are on.  And if the position was reversed, you KNOW the Republicand would be putting up a massive fight to ensure everything is investigated.

                Meanwhile, as I've said already.  Unless they get a coourt order to do a full hand recount, they are just going to reprint the results off the machines.  And if Nicklaus's "found" votes were "saved" on to the memory card or into the system somehow (since i believe everything was connected), then those machines will just print out the NEW result that she has altered, therefore removing any discussion of fraud or wrongdoing.

                Unless all ballots are handcounted and the machines, memory cards, etc. audited and investigated, we are just blindly putting out faith in the voting machines that could have quickly and easily been hacked or altered and nobody would know.  

                And what is the worst case scenario?  Either the machines are seen to have failed miserably and/or been hacked...and we are all the better for finding out...or they are proven to have worked perfectly and securely and we are all the better for finding out.

                Either way, there NEEDS to be proper citizen oversight of all elections, and results must be able to be completely verified beyond a doubt if we want to claim to be the shining star of democracy we like to think we are.  

            •  There's a paper trail in Wisconsin (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mol, NewDealer, rosabw

              So if the manual recount proceeds the totals from the machines will be compared to actual physical evidence.

              In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

              by blue aardvark on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 10:01:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Will it be a statewide recount? (0+ / 0-)

                Or just one or two areas?  UNless there is a statewide hand recount of all ballots, I don't care who wins, I think the result is questionable and purely faith based.

                Others can disagree, but that is how I see it.  

                And if even the limited hand count shows a difference from the machines, will that mean the machines are "fixed" and no longer used until proper security and verifiable measures are put inplace?  I doubt it.  They will just shrug it off and keep using the faulty machines in future elections.

                So seriously, what is the best we are hoping for here?  

        •  You keep repeating (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          msmacgyver, DollyMadison

          the same thing -- there have been instances where software has been investigated -- re: mere glitches or fraud.  FL did it in 2007.

          " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

          by gchaucer2 on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 08:55:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yep (11+ / 0-)

            the software was investigated, and it was found to be total insecure crap.  It can be hacked EASILY.  Hell its almost as if it set up for fraud its so bad.
            And Yes I develop software for a living, our e voting software is a disgrace.

             Whats even worse companies like Diebold have shown with their ATM lline they can make decent secure software.

            So why does out atm have accurate secure software with a paper receipt, and our election software have NONE of that?

            Bad is never good until worse happens

            by dark daze on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:10:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dragonlady, pengiep, Possiamo

              I was getting tired of the persistent myth that these voting machines are safe and secure and properly certified.  It is almost as if the constant, recurring errors every single election that happen all across the country are fake or just a random coincidence.

              I have to wonder, how messed up do elections have to be before people wake up and start to see something is wrong.  In places that still count hand ballots (in the US and outher countries), the elections are certified, verifiable and the results KNOWN that same night.  

              When was the last time that has happened since the voting machines took over elections?  There seems to be way more problems, way less security, the results are completely unverifiable, and it takes way longer to get a valid final result.   Hell, I've even heard that some states (can't guarantee this is true atm) have passed laws that if there is a discrepancy between the paper ballots and the machines, the machine results are the results that should be used.  

              This is just embarassing.

          •  I fail to see your point. (0+ / 0-)

            First of all, when the software was originally investigated, it was NOT found to be safe and secure.  Many red flag were raised.  Teams of computer scientists have even written denouncing the software and the machines for being completely insecure, easily hackable and unverifiable.  Those protests have been ignored and written off.

            There was a documentary done not long after that looking at the voting machines, and showing exactly how quickly and easily a hack can be done by one single person which can affect an entire election AND without auditing the software, will never be known about.

            Votes are going missing, sometimes there are more votes onthe machines than actual voters, vote flipping (how do we know the flipped vote isn't counted along with the corrected vote?  we don't), voting machine sleepovers, unsecure storage, etc, etc, etc.

            And even if I were to just ignore all that, and believe your comment that the software was PROVEN safe and secure and reliable in florida in 2007...what does that have to do with the machines since then?  Software updates?  Is the software even the same now as it was then?  Is the software in each state or county the same?  

            To say that one set of tests in one state 4 years ago applies to all other machines all across the country is simply naive.  You may as well be saying that because your internet works where you live, anybody else in the country who says their internet isn't working must be lying.  

        •  Did the GAB actually count the paper ballots (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DEMonrat ankle biter, Thumb, myboo

          in question (that would be all those that Nickolouse was responsible for) and compare those numbers to the numbers found from the sign in records ?

          Just thought I'd ask.

          the US MSM, enemy of informed democracy

          by XajaX on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:00:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'll assume foul play when it comes (7+ / 0-)

        to Republicans.

        Given their track record, I think it more than a fair assumption, and the burden of proof is upon them to show it was a fair election.

        I want copper-bottomed proof that every vote was counted, that everyone who wanted to vote did vote.

      •  Seems important (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to verify with certainty the the election is valid, no matter how unlikely it may seem that results might have been manipulated.

    •  U were very anxious to tout a DEM official (0+ / 0-)

      who "verified" the election in one of your last posts about this.  She never did.

      I don't trust the GAB and most other wisconsinites don't either.  This warrants a federal investigation.

      If there is nothing there, great!  But we already had Democrats rolling over in the stolen election of 2000, let's not be quick to do that again.

  •  Some of the More Embarassing Diaries (12+ / 0-)

    I've ever seen around here have been on this topic.  Everyone should demand thorough accounting, investigations when necessary, etc... but there were some frankly crazy CT bombs flying around in areas I'm not used to seeing them.

    If anything, I'm surprised nobody claimed there was no Brookfield in WI.

    Still the thorough accounting needs to continue, and it's good news that a recount will be state funded if the margin holds.

  •  Still waiting for (16+ / 0-)

    one GOoPer... any GOoPer... to be classy and to say that Gregoire's first victory over Rossi, and Franken's victory over Coleman, were both won honestly with honest vote counts.

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 08:40:51 AM PDT

  •  Frustrating in a way, that she seems to be (5+ / 0-)

    turning out merely to be incompetent, rather than corrupt in this instance.

  •  How to lose the PR battle by "winning" n/t (3+ / 0-)
  •  Thank you for this thorough and (8+ / 0-)

    factual accounting.  Much appreciated!

    I've got my spine, I've got my (DKos) orange crush, we are agents of the free.....R.E.M.

    by FlamingoGrrl on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 08:45:02 AM PDT

  •  IMHO, the trust issue should be addressed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, 3goldens, pat bunny

    The process as it stands right now is way too obtuse.  If she did just honestly screw it up, great!  The election will end up being resolved in a way that everybody can life with.

    But, changes should occur there, or it's a ongoing problem.


    by potatohead on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 08:45:49 AM PDT

    •  One person hoarding the election info on personal (11+ / 0-)

      computers does NOT engender trust!!

      She needs to be replaced.

    •  What I can't figure out is WHY (8+ / 0-)

      the GAB allowed ONE particular County Clerk to get by with the crap that Nickolaus has--like refusing to use a computer that is linked in to the GAB system and that it appears all the other County Clerks use.  And why was she permitted to use a personal computer that was not up-do-date on software (I believe the version of one of the key pieces of software she was using is no longer supported by Microsoft) and that Waukesha's County Board was warned did not have appropriate features to prevent the computer from being hacked into.  One particular individual (Nickolaus) was permitted to flaunt the rules and regs governing elections in WI by the agency (GAB) now investigating her.  It seems to me that the GAB also has some questions to be answered about why they and/or the Waukesha County Board allowed her this kind of latitude.  She should have been cracked down on years ago instead of being permitted to run her own little private "fiefdom".

      Objecting to our governor’s policies does not make a citizen of Wisconsin a criminal. Not yet, anyway. ~ nelangst

      by 3goldens on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:04:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Remember that she's an elected official (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Not an employee of the GAB. I just don't know how much authority they have over someone who was elected by the county voters.

        •  But was she really elected more than the first (0+ / 0-)

          time? If she is dirty she would first see that her re-election is secure lest someone new sniffs out the fraud.

          I don't dislike all conservatives... mainly just the ones that vote Republican.

          by OHdog on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 10:41:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think that's a very good point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane, zett

          about her not being an employee of the GAB.  I have visited the website of the GAB and I know it has a lot of info about the rules and regs that the GAB operates under, but I am not a lawyer and I don't know, as you state, how much authority they have over a County Clerk.  It would be interesting to know that.   Maybe somebody who does know will weigh in.

          Objecting to our governor’s policies does not make a citizen of Wisconsin a criminal. Not yet, anyway. ~ nelangst

          by 3goldens on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 11:33:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Legislate this. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, zett

        Process and procedure.

        Then, those that run the election can be held liable for failure to demonstrate adequate standards.


        by potatohead on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 10:18:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  will there be AG and SoS involvement or should (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Feds get involved with yet another criminal attempt to subvert democracy. One doesn't need to see a CT to observe that Diebold and Kasich in OH are now a single force for 2012 hanky-panky.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above "Nous sommes un groupuscule" join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "makes Beck U. and the Limbaugh Institute look like Romper Room"

    by annieli on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 08:48:22 AM PDT

    •  In WI, the GAB is responsible. (5+ / 0-)

      We don't want our AG anywhere near this.

      If the GAB finds evidence of irregularities, they can order a recount.

      Personally, I think that Kloppenburg should ask for a statewide recount starting with Waukesha County - with the understanding that if Waukesha Cty stands up then she can give it up.


      by stcroix cheesehead on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:00:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Attorney General for WI (4+ / 0-)

      is a right-wing loyalist.  He has proven during the early stages of the fight over whether or not the anti-union law was passed in violation of the State's open meetings law that he is a hack by arguing consistently in favor of the actions of the Republicans in the Senate and against what clearly appears to be a violation of that law.  I would not let him investigate anything based on his track record as State AG.  The SoS here doesn't "do" elections.  It is the supposedly NON-partisan Government Accountability Board (GAB) that is charged with ALL activities governing elections. To be fair, the GAB has its own Board which consists of retired judges who serve staggered 6-years terms on the Board.  I've never heard anything "bad" about the Board, however we've never asked them to oversee/be involved in something like what happened in Waukesha County either.  

      Objecting to our governor’s policies does not make a citizen of Wisconsin a criminal. Not yet, anyway. ~ nelangst

      by 3goldens on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:11:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If we lost, then we lost, we'll survive (6+ / 0-)

    I just want to be completely sure that we did, in fact lose and if it's that simple, then let's be classy and confident enough in our future success to move on.

  •  Good to see (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mswsm, wader, dark daze, stagemom, rhubarb, rosabw

    Though something is rotten in the state of WI, this is very good news.   Good to know we have learned our lesson (Florida 2000) and will never again go peacefully  into that good night.

    Recount. Recount. Sue. Win WIN WIN

    •  as a software designer (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kev, stagemom, Thumb, Ice Blue, pengiep

      looking at our incredibly awful and vulnerable election software, it can ONLY be there because someone wants it there.  Our elections are set up to be stolen.  Yes, read that again, they are set up to be stolen.

      There is NO REASON e voting isnt open sources, secure, and comes with and independent paper trail.  NONE.  Yet we have it everywhere, it tells me as a software professional, the client ( The US) doesnt give a damn about its votes.

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:06:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Prosser's election stands ... (4+ / 0-)

    ... Wisconsin, like its Great Lakes states peers, has a lot worse problems to contend with than some moron county official in Waukesha.

  •  Why bother.. (0+ / 0-)

    Nothing will happen. The assholes win again.

  •  Thanks. Reality-based posts are always welcome! (7+ / 0-)
  •  Kloppenburg still must request a recount (12+ / 0-)

    That's the only way people will be able to accept the election as being counted accurately. And I am still waiting to hear how such a glaring error was not noticed by people other than the state GOP until after Kloppenburg had been declared the leader/winner. I am also waiting to hear the nature of the error, since the story about Microsoft Access failing to save sounds preposterous on it's face, according to people who work with that program.

  •  WI Alert: Just saw this (10+ / 0-)
    A Madison judge is set to hear arguments in another lawsuit challenging Gov. Scott Walker's divisive collective bargaining law.

    Democratic Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk's lawsuit alleges Republican lawmakers illegally convened a meeting to amend the plan on two hours' notice. She also contends the state Senate lacked enough members to pass the proposal after minority Democrats fled to Illinois. State attorneys counter Republican lawmakers are immune from lawsuits while the Legislature is in session. They argue, too, that a judge can't interfere with the legislative process.

    The two sides will make their cases in front of Judge Maryann Sumi this afternoon.

    Don't cry for me, Mr. Boehner. Cry for yourself and the Republican Party. -- psusennes, DK

    by RhodaA on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 08:57:55 AM PDT

  •  If we lost then we lost... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mswsm, campionrules, Samer, cap76, zett

    ...and I think that's an attitude that defines a true American: you're not going to win every election.

    Regardless, can Ms. Nickolaus please be fired after this mess? This whole event brought to light that not only was this not the first time, but she had been warned.

    Hell, her previous blunders may have affected the election, even if this one did not. She may have even helped the Dems by accident.

    The only confidence she deserves is an assumption that she'll screw up.


  •  Just saying . . . (9+ / 0-)

    her job for Prosser was . . .

    Nickolaus, who worked for seven years as a data analyst and computer specialist for the Assembly Republican caucus, headed up an effort to develop a computer program that averaged the performance of Republicans in statewide races by ward.

  •  my take (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Nocella, mswsm, thestructureguy

    The Republicans have been way to cooperative in this whole affair.. It seems to me if there was some sort of voter fraud then they would have put up much more roadblocks (see Florida 2000)

    Seems to me that this was really a mess up but a messy unprofessional County Clerk

  •  I'd like to know (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mswsm, 3goldens, Overseas, rja

    What numbers the GAB is using as their reference. Are they recounting ballots, because it sounds like all they are doing is comparing electronic documents to electronic documents i.e. making sure the numbers were moved between database and report correctly, not necessarily checking for falsified numbers.

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stagemom, zett

      Until they compare the number of ballot sheets to the sign-in sheet numbers and then to the votes cast, we won't have a solid starting point for a recount.

      "We have cast our lot with something bigger than ourselves" - President Obama, July 30, 2010

      by Overseas on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:22:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They're not counting the ballots.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As I understand it, the Kloppenburg campaign is checking the tapes and voter lists under open records...

      Verifying her math is not an "investigation".

      "Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it" Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, part time vampire

      by marigold on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:49:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  thanks for the update (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Time Waits for no Woman

    It is good to see what exactly the GAB is doing there. I still have some questions about Milwaukee County/City, but they aren't going to be answered by this investigation.

    Might be worth the recount just to tripple check, but I don't thing it allows for a hand count, so it probably wouldn't change much.

  •  Bummer (0+ / 0-)

    Hopefully she at least loses her night job.

    No more moon-lighting for that one.

    “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway” ~ Henry Boye~

    by Terranova0 on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:11:00 AM PDT

  •  Thanks god for rational posts on this. (5+ / 0-)

    Looks like Kathy is an unorganized, incompetent bureaucrat who doesn't know how to deal with simple computer software.

    Unfortunately, that's not a crime.

    Other than that I full expect that these votes tallies will be verified. You can't just magick 14,000 votes out of thin air. Not in a optical scan system.

    •  You are aware that she worked (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IreGyre, Ice Blue, myboo, rhubarb

      in the office of the State Assembly Republican Caucus and that her job there was as a data analyst and computer specialist?  Here's some background on Kathy:

      The caucus investigation eventually led to the resignations and criminal convictions of leaders in the Senate and Assembly for directing caucus and staff employees to engage in illegal political activity during their state employment.

      Nickolaus, who earned roughly $54,000 a year as a data analyst and computer specialist for Assembly Republicans, was granted immunity in 2001 by authorities conducting the investigation.

      In a criminal complaint issued in 2002 against then-Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen and others, prosecutors claimed Nickolaus developed a computer software program that was used by state officials to track donations. According to a Journal Sentinel story, Nickolaus said she developed the software on her own time because she wanted to sell it to the state elections agency for use in automating state-required campaign reports. She left the caucus around that time.

      That quote is from this article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  IF you want to read more about her, this is a link to a whole series of Kathy in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  They've done a pretty good job of covering this entire story.  MUCH better than the WI State Journal which publishes out of Madison.

      Kathy Nickolaus may be a lot of things, but she most definitely is NOT a disorganized, incompetent bureaucrat and she most definitely DOES know how to deal with computers and software.

      Objecting to our governor’s policies does not make a citizen of Wisconsin a criminal. Not yet, anyway. ~ nelangst

      by 3goldens on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:27:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dunno (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I know many a computer specialist with my state who I would immediately deem incompetent.

        You can have a wide knowledge base and still be incompetent. Trouble seems to follow Kathy around - and maybe she's just straight up republican evil - but I doubt it.

        Besides, there is still no crime. Even if she is a mastermind, computer programmer with l33t software skills she didn't make 14,000 votes appear out of thin air.  Your mixing the issue here.

        Kathy: Idiot/Mastermind/incompetent/whatever -  not a crime

        Missing Ballots: A crime

        •  I'm not saying the committed a (0+ / 0-)

          crime.  I replied to a comment that stated she was likely an incompetent, unorganized County Clerk.  Given her background, I doubt that she is either of those things.  Please do not put words into my mouth that I did NOT say or write..

          Objecting to our governor’s policies does not make a citizen of Wisconsin a criminal. Not yet, anyway. ~ nelangst

          by 3goldens on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:45:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, we all are aware of her history (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        campionrules, rhubarb, DollyMadison

        ...but the crux of the post--you did read it, right?--is that the DATA emerging from the investigation so far don't support the theory that she purposely corrupted the vote counts.

        "Nonsense!" said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.

        by RIposte on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:41:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again, I did NOT say she committed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          campionrules, rhubarb

          a crime.  I replied to a comment where it was stated that she was likely just another disorganized, incompetent County Clerk.  Her background is such that I do NOT think either of those terms apply to her.  And, as I said to the commenter right above you, do not put words into my mouth that I did not say/write.  And YES, I did READ Chris's diary.  

          Objecting to our governor’s policies does not make a citizen of Wisconsin a criminal. Not yet, anyway. ~ nelangst

          by 3goldens on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:48:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I apologize (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It wasn't my intention to put words in your mouth.

            You are, of course, entitled to your opinion about the county clerk. Maybe she is competent. She certainly has a wide knowledge base within politics and working in the computer world.

            My broader point, and I may have not made this clear, is that her background and previous partisanship has apparently nothing to do with this situation.

            It's essentially a red-herring and distracts from the issue of the ongoing investigation. Which to this point has shown zero evidence that anything is hinky.

          •  Not disorganized, not incompetent and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            no crime committed so we live with the fact Prosser likely won.

            Preemptive war is like committing suicide for fear of death

            by thestructureguy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 10:21:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK--I've explained this to several (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Seneca Doane

              people already but I'll do it ONE MORE TIME.

              The canvass of the vote is due in to the GAB on or before April 15 (that is Friday of this week).  As of yesterday there were 3 counties still out:  Milwaukee, Sauk, and Crawford.  They're all expected to be done later today I believe.  UNTIL THE CANVASS IS COMPLETED AND SIGNED OFF ON, NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN.  It can't.  Not even a recount can be asked for UNTIL THE CANVASS IS DONE AND CERTIFIED.

              In the meantime, as Chris noted in the diary here, the GAB says its investigation is ON-GOING---or did you miss that part?! The GAB has to finish its investigation of Waukesha County; the Kloppenburg campaign has THREE DAYS after the state canvass is certified to file for a recount.  We do not know what, IF ANYTHING, the Klop. legal team that has been on the ground in Waukesha County Clerk's Office since last Friday found.  So, there is a LOT of information from both the GAB and Klop.'s campaign that we do NOT know yet.  We do NOT know that Prosser won; we do NOT know if JoKlo wants a recount; we do NOT know what her team of lawyers found; we do not know the findings of the GAB investigation.  

              So let's not leap to conclusions without ALL the DATA in.

              Objecting to our governor’s policies does not make a citizen of Wisconsin a criminal. Not yet, anyway. ~ nelangst

              by 3goldens on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 11:30:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  What data? (0+ / 0-)

          Haven't seen anything to indicate that.....

          "Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it" Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, part time vampire

          by marigold on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:51:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  She didn't actually work for Prosser before (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jon Says

      Kloppenburg supporters continued to question Friday whether Nickolaus had worked closely with Prosser in the Assembly in the mid-1990s while she worked for the body and Prosser oversaw it as a top GOP lawmaker. But Prosser and Nickolaus' boss at the time both said Friday that was not the case.
      Fuller details also emerged Friday about Nickolaus' former legislative work.

      Assembly Chief Clerk Patrick Fuller said in an email Friday that Nickolaus started working for the Legislature on March 6, 1989.

      On Feb. 20, 1995, she started work with the Assembly Republican caucus, one of four GOP and Democratic legislative groups that were shut down after a criminal investigation into state staffers doing campaign work on state time.

      Prosser served as Assembly speaker in 1995 and 1996, giving him oversight of the GOP caucus in that house.

      Nickolaus left the Assembly GOP caucus in December 2001, shortly before it was dissolved. She then worked in the office of the Assembly chief clerk - before Fuller's tenure - until May 2002, when she resigned.

      Ray Carey, now a Madison attorney and lobbyist, was hired by Prosser to serve as director of the Assembly GOP caucus in January 1995. Carey said he hired Nickolaus shortly after that without input from Prosser. "It was my call. My decision," he said.

      Carey said that Nickolaus did computer and data management work, performing such tasks as making maps, and that he never saw her have "any significant interaction" with Prosser.

      Prosser said he does know the Waukesha County clerk, having "met her a number of times in the last few months."

      "Did she ever work for me? If she ever worked for me I don't remember. I can't say it didn't happen, but I don't remember," Prosser said.

    •  Please go watch hacking democracy. (0+ / 0-)

      It's completely possible with an optical scan system.

  •  Hey, DC Dems! THIS is what principled (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plubius, campionrules, rhubarb

    losing looks like!  You may go down, but you go down fighting!

    And you leave the voters knowing what you stand for.  Anyone want to bet against Wisconsin having more (or a majority) of Dems in office in 2013?  

    Anybody want to bet it will be a bigger number than if they had said, "Well, it's a fight we can't really win, so let's take what we can get and call it pragmatic"?

    •  What makes you think we're going down? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We're gonna win.  We won this election sans the fishy business and we're gonna win the recount.

      •  Slap Bet? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darmok, DollyMadison

        Sorry, the vote totals in Waukesha are going to hold up. I'd bet my college loans on it and there's just no way a recount swings a 7,000 vote difference. Statistically it would be a miracle or the result of Republican rat-fucking somewhere else than Waukesha.

        Besides, perception is the reality in politics and in many ways we did win. We pushed a candidate with basically zero name recognition to a 50 50 tie with a candidate who would have won by 20 points.

        Wisconsin is motivated. People are energized and we need to be looking forward to elections that we will win in the future.

        •  With Dems like you, no wonder we lose (0+ / 0-)

          No, this is not about PR.  This is about power.  Today.  

          I wonder if during your time in college you played any competitive sports.  I wonder if you were ever on a winning team.  And I wonder if your winning coach told you before a game: "go out there and have a good time.  Win, loose, it doesn't matter. Its how you play the game."

          Well, I believe in that.  For little league.  Not for the major leagues.

          This is the majors.  

          •  Yes I did actually, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thestructureguy, DollyMadison

            And my coach was fond of telling me that I should take out the opposing team's center's knee when the ref wasn't looking. Because winning was the only thing that mattered, regardless of the method.

            Because we all know that winning at all cost is the only way to do things. Screw democratic and progressive ideals, maybe we should just put republican voters in camps? That way they can't vote! WE WIN! YAY!!!

            •  And when did I say (0+ / 0-)

              winning isn't everything, it is the only thing?

              Oh, I didn't.

              There is a middle ground.  You've seemed to forget that.

              Here, winning is the most important thing.  I am sorry that your coach failed to teach you properly about how to put on your game face.  

              This election is not about PR.  It's not about being a good sport.  This is about power.  

              It is about winning.

            •  One final thing (0+ / 0-)

              You also seem to forget that we are fighting against the Republicans.  For them, wining is the only thing, and they do kick us in our knees in order to win.

      •  you've got the worst case of poor sportsmanship (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thestructureguy, DollyMadison

        i've ever seen. Lose with dignity. We've got almost no chance of winning a recount. The district that this happened is deep red, there is no suspicion in any other district. You were willing just to accept the results a week ago when we were up 200 votes which i commented seemed kind of pathetic for how much energy(anger) there was against republicans. The truth is that in fact the recount has probably the same chance of just helping the repubs  as it helping us.

        •  It is unwise to tell me what is going on (0+ / 0-)

          in my mind and then draw your conclusions from what you think is going on in my mind before bothering to check with me what is indeed going on in my mind.

          I was not "willing just to accept the results a week ago when we were up 200 votes"

          I am interested in winning. I am not interested in being a good sport.  Nice guys finish last.  

          •  So cheating by our side would be appropriate then? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I mean if the nice guys always finish last the assumption would be the bad guys finish first.

            Bad guys = election shenanigans?

            •  plubius is going into circular logic (3+ / 0-)
              while (win = 'R')

                   if (judgeStops = true)

            •  You put words into my mouth (0+ / 0-)

              I did not, have not, and never had said we should cheat.

              I argue we should win.  

              There is a middle ground between being a good sport and cheating.  The middle ground is called a 'fierce competitor'

              Nice guys finish last.  

              •  Fierce competitor for what? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                exterris, DollyMadison

                Your mixing metaphors.

                Elections are like sporting events in some ways - namely the person ahead at the end wins.

                That's where the similarity in this case ends. The game is over, the election finalized. You can't hustle and create new votes or new voters or disenfranchise people.

                I know you want to focus on winning but the game's already over. It's becoming clearer and clearer the Prosser's vote margin is going to hold up and it's not going to be possible for a recount to swing a 7,000 vote differential.

                So by all means, go out and be a fierce competitor, rally the base, scream your slogans, talk about fraud and dirty, rotten republican bastards. It's called whining.

                In the meantime, while your expending your energy on being a bad loser, I'll be organizing, donating and doing everything in my power to advance progressive candidates in Wisconsin and across the the country. We've got recall elections to win here.

                •  The game isn't over (0+ / 0-)

                  There will be a recount.

                  •  It was a different story last week (0+ / 0-)

                    Then, people here were all about foreclosing any recount because Kloppenburg temporarily had the most votes.  Interesting how that changed.

                    •  Who said that Prosser couldn't have a recount? (0+ / 0-)

                      Some people said that it would be inconsistent with his view against government spending, but please find me a source who said that it was illegal.  (Ideally, one from someone with a posting history here.)  JK's declaring victory doesn't count; that's a PR move, not a legally operative action, as everyone understood.

                      Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

                      by Seneca Doane on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:18:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Who said anything about "illegal"? (0+ / 0-)

                        The idea was that the votes were the votes and any recount should be shouted down as too expensive for Wisconsin.  It was all about "controlling the message," as if that was going to mean anything in the context of counting votes.

                        The premature celebrations here were silly and we should try to refrain from situations where we look hypocritical.

                        •  Based on Prosser's expressed beliefs (0+ / 0-)

                          Declaring victory the following day was not "silly."  C.f. the 2000 election.

                          Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

                          by Seneca Doane on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 01:38:40 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Again, not what I said (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm not sure if you're just reading what you want into my comments, but I didn't say that Kloppenburg declaring victory was silly, but that the premature celebrations were such.  And, the idea that people would conclude that she won the election if we said it long and loud enough was equally silly.  

                            What passes for "reality based" around here on same days is highly questionable.

                          •  Yeah, I'm conflating them (0+ / 0-)

                            because I think that criticism of one necessarily implies the other.  I took my lead about when to celebrate from Kloppenburg herself.  It was "premature."  I don't regret it one bit.  It leads people to ask, now, "well, what changed"?  We have a good answer for them.

                            Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

                            by Seneca Doane on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 02:28:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Could someone have cheated (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          (given what some here have been asserted was Waukesha's unusually large turnout compared to estimates during the day, which in other high-turnout counties were much higher)?  One question is whether the two-day delay gave them time to fix records as to who voted, if they were doing the equivalent of "having the dead vote" or to manufacture new paper ballots that would comport with an adjusted hand-count.

          Lose with dignity after you know you've lost, not beforehand.

          A recount would be statewide, by the way.  And, if there is no problem, the avoided loss in public confidence from a manual count of paper ballots would be worth the expense -- especially when Prosser is the deciding vote in upholding Walker's illegal actions despite the state constitution.

          As to your final sentence: in a win-or-lose situation where one party will win in the absence of a change, the other party can't really be helped.  You can end up with more icing on their cake, but it doesn't matter: only one party "takes the cake."

          Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

          by Seneca Doane on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:14:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Um, the word "may" mean what it used to? (0+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If the poll workers have the count - is it the number of voters casting votes or the number of votes cast for each candidate?  

    Why if they knew their count, why didn't we know until 2 days later that the count was missing a town or ward?  Two days to manipulate the results doesn't seem impossible.  Maleficence or malpractice, at this point, does it matter?

    The biggest problem I have read is when this County Clerk provided ballots before the election that were already marked.....suspicious?

    Too much hinkey going on to just be incompetence.  

  •  DKos diary find irregularities going back to 2004 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhubarb, zett

    There is a suspicious regularity of huge voter turnout for this county.  Possible, but it needs to be addressed.  If there is a procedure in place to pad votes for this long then the totals would match for each year.

    Waukesha voting irregularities go back to 2004...

    Apparently in 2004 the polls in Waukesha were teeming with voters as the Waukesha County Clerk's office showed a 97.63% turn out. No, that's not a typo. 97.63%

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." ~Albert Einstein

    by ParkRanger on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:24:18 AM PDT

    •  Note... 97.63% of registered voters (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      not eligible voters... so those who vote average in the low 60% of eligible in Wisconsin elections..

      BUT the rate of registered voters who end up voting is usually in the lower 90s there... 97% is stretching credibility...

      and does add up to enough votes to make a difference in a close race.

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:48:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Apparently they have same-day registration. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        So a heated contest could push the percentage of registered voters up, depending on how the numbers are counted. If 15 of 20 registered voters show up, but an additional three eligible show up, register, and vote, you may have a 90% turn-out rate among registered voters... if you are counting people registered before the election (and the ones who registered on the same day wouldn't be added to the roll till afterwards.)

        -this space for rent-

        by EsnRedshirt on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 09:57:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  She took into account registered vs eligible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and it's still higher than other Wisconsin counties

        Apparently in 2004 the polls in Waukesha were teeming with voters as the Waukesha County Clerk's office showed a 97.63% turn out. No, that's not a typo. 97.63%

        Of the 236,642 registered voters in Waukesha on Nov 2, 2004 apparently 231,031 of them came out in a hint of rain and drizzle and did their civic duty.

        Just to put this in perspective, Australia has compulsory (mandatory) voting and their turnout is 95%.

        The estimated population of Waukesha in July of 2004 was 375,350 with 91,530 residents under the age of 18. (source) Leaving out solely residents under the age of 18 that leaves 283,820 residents that are of voting age (remember that number, it will be referenced again). That's an 83% voter registration number which is well above both the national average and Wisconsin's average.

        "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." ~Albert Einstein

        by ParkRanger on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:53:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is an error by the diarist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Who doesn't understand how numbers are reported in Wisconsin.

      Several diarists here at DK have had issues with pulling numbers out of context and leaping to unsustainable conclusions.

      Read Ben Masel's posts over the last couple of days to see his responses.

  •  Why did this happen? (0+ / 0-)

    The vote should have never been close to begin with.  How could Wisconsin not get out and vote on this?  Kloppenburg should have won by a land slide. I am most disappointed.

  •  A bit off topic, but JSOnline has just reported (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vicky, zett

    that a third Republican state senator, Luther Olsen, representing the 14th District will have a recall petition summitted to the GAB in the near future.  Sort of funny as he is out of Ripon WI, the birthplace of the Republican party.

    It's going to start getting crazy out there.

    JS Online

  •  Re: The Victory of Ms. Kloppenburg (0+ / 0-)

    Ms. Kloppenburg defeated Mr. Prosser on election night.  That is as obvious as the fact that the living breathe.  The corporate thugs in the employ of Koch and company made certain that Mr. Prosser would be returned to office by any subterfuge possible, and lo and behold, the magic number was "found" two days afterward.

    Of course, there would need to be plausible deniability; some methodology to make the disbelieving masses still think that their government is not for sale to the highest bidder.  We have witnessed that convolution by the statements of so-called investigative panels and commentators within and outside this site.  But a twisted series of events meant to be logical cannot substitute for fair play in an election when the general public knows that the results were pre-determined.

    In Bush Vs. Gore, 2000, a similar plausibility was rendered; possibly ballots and hanging chads were sufficiently confused.  All the better to obfuscate the obvious: that on election night, past midnight after the networks had declared the state of Florida in the Gore column, it was suddenly reassigned to another column--after a phone call on behalf of then Florida Governor Jeb, who just happened to be the brother of Presidential candidate George, and after which, weeks later, a 5-4 decision by conservative leaning Supreme Court justices would formally stop the recount and thus determine the ideological bent of their own fellow future Justices!

    My dear, dear fellow so-called progressives.  Pigs do not fly.  They really, really don't, no matter what anyone else who believes they have seen them fly may tell you.

    Progressives do not really lose elections--their interests are with the clear majority, whereas corporate interests are in subjugating a majority.  They must make the masses believe that they are on their side.  Last year they "won" only the propaganda war.

    This year, witnessing the harsh reality of the coming to full power of the corporate elite, the masses naturally voted their own real interests, and rejected that corporate designed annihilation of collective bargaining and other long cherished worker rights.  Of course, the majority prevailed, because the corporate elite is just that--an elite.

    Ms. Kloppenburg won.  And Al Gore won.  Because pigs really don't fly.  Those kicked-to-the-ground and never-likely-to-fight-back so-called progressives want us all to believe that the process is still fair.  This, even when the Right Wing truly does "prepare to re-load" when it loses.  And it really loses, because the numbers who truly share its interests will never be a majority.

    But, my dear fellow "progressives," no matter what those masochistic love-to-be-pummeled types may tell the rest of us, pigs do not fly.  They never have.  And, at least until Darwinian evolution re-evolves them through several more millenniums, they never shall.

    Ms. Kloppenburg was duly elected a Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court on April 5, 2011.  She stunningly unseated Justice Prosser, the right-hand stamp of a Governor most Wisconsites clearly could stomach no more.

    But those were not the results that the Koch brothers and their corporate coterie had paid for.  And paid for most handsomely.  Thus, those mysterious votes were somehow sequestered until two days afterwards; just the number to keep a victory from Ms. Kloppenburg.  And after which some plausibility could be rendered to a doubting electorate, who still desperately want to believe their local, state and federal governments are truly not for sale.

    But Ms. Kloppenburg was duly elected Justice of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, nevertheless.  That she will not be conferred that honor has nothing to do with the fact that she was not duly elected.

    Pigs really do not fly.  They really don't.  Really--they don't.

  •  The GAB is *STILL* not counting the right number! (0+ / 0-)

    They are counting the "returns" from the wards, described in the diary as:
    "numbers from each ward as reported by local poll workers"
    which are to be added together to compare with Nicklaus's total number. These are the BALLOTS.

    But WHEN are they going to add up HOW MANY PEOPLE SHOWED UP AT EACH POLLING PLACE? Don't the polls have sign-in sheets like we have in California, so that the number of people who came to each polling place can be counted, and added together, INDEPENDENTLY of the number of ballots counted? Of course all of the absentee ballots have to be treated as separately and I sure hope they log those somehow, but there should be a good number for them too.

    Again: add up the numbers and find out how many voters there were. Compare that with the numbers of votes. If significantly different (of course correcting for spoiled ballots and the like), then things look less like "a mistake".

    But failure to make this count means to fail a crucial, obvious audit step.

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