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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Friday, April 08, 2011

WaukeshaGate

County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus increases Prosser county vote by 17 percent

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus
by malThe same 13-year Assembly Republican caucus computer specialist who last year insisted—over the objections of I/T experts concerned about integrity of election data—that her election results collection-tallying system must be placed under her personal control for "security" (MJS) reasons now claims to have found 17 percent more votes for GOP Justice David Prosser, after an incident in which she claims to have personally failed to save some election results.

Nickolaus claims "she failed to save on her computer and then report 14,315 votes in the city of Brookfield, omitting them entirely in an unofficial total she released after Tuesday's election." (Stein, Walker and Glauber; MJS)

Prosser said in a statement: "I'm encouraged by the various reports from the county canvasses."

Prosser, Nickolaus' former boss, made no comment specifically on the circumstances surrounding Nickolaus in which Prosser's total county vote was increased by 17 percent.

Others are demanding forensic investigations and full transparency from the secretive clerk, amid the suspicious circumstances and allegations that Nickolaus' story does not add up.

Nickolaus cited "human error" that she was glad to have discovered before the expected recount, though Nickolaus apparently sat on this error in tallying for 29 hours before right wing bloggers reported the news.

From the Kloppenburg for Justice Campaign: "Wisconsin voters as well as the Kloppenburg for Justice Campaign deserve a full explanation of how and why these 14,000 votes from an entire City were missed. To that end, we will be filing open records requests for all relevant documentation related to the reporting of election results in Waukesha County, as well as to the discovery and reporting of the errors announced by the County. We are confident that election officials in Waukesha County will fulfill these requests as quickly as possible so that both our campaign and the people of Wisconsin can fully understand what happened and why. Just as Assistant Attorney General Kloppenburg has run to restore confidence in the court, Wisconsin residents also deserve to have full confidence in election results."

The state Government Accountability Board is expected to audit the entries that Nickolaus made into her system during an anticipated recount.

Nickolaus says she found out about the unsaved data at noon Wendesday. She then "sat on this information for 29 hours before disclosing it." (Citizen Action, see below)

Also clouding the circumstances is the report that a comparison of Waukesha and Dane counties shows that Waukesha County has three times more Supreme Court-only ballots than Dane County.

Citizen Action is calling for a federal investigation, noting:

While it is far too early to judge all the facts of the situation, there are so many apparent discrepancies and contradictions in the currently available fact-base that a full, impartial, and independent investigation is clearly warranted. These warning signs that should trigger a full and independent investigation include:

During her press conference Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus claimed this was an open and transparent process. Yet According to Nickolaus she found out about this at noon yesterday. She then sat on this information for 29 hours before disclosing it.

According to 3 observers who attended the county vote canvass, the issue of 14,315 additional votes from Brookfield never came up in the room.

While it was hidden from the people in the room, others involved in the process, Charlie Sykes, a representative of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, National Review, and conservative bloggers had the story hours before it was announced.

Kathy Nickolaus has a long history of questionable practices in vote counting. The issue of Nicklaus keeping records on her personal computer was central to the audit conducted on her last fall. Was the “human error” she is apologizing for her own personal error made on her personal computer? She has been repeatedly warned about the danger of that process and criticized for keeping information 'secret' from even others with in her own office in the past.

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