Wednesday, April 20, 2011

JoAnne Kloppenburg Officially Requests A Recount and Full Investigation In Wisconsin Supreme Court Election

WisPolitics reports that the Government Accountability Board says the Kloppenburg campaign has officially requested a statewide recount.

Kloppenburg announced the request at about 4pm to very loud sustaining cheers and "thank you"s. She's also asking for a full investigation into Waukesha County.

Kloppenburg said there are "widespread anomalies and questions within Waukesha County and across the state." She listed the cities of Milwaukee and Racine as well as Waukesha County. She also mentioned issues with "long lines, photo-copied ballots" and the vote counts in the city of Fond du Lac and Winnebago County. Kloppenburg said these issues "necessitate a statewide recount," adding, "Wisconsin deserves to know the election was legitimate."

"A recount will have shined a necessary and appropriate light on an election that to so many people appears suspect."

Kloppenburg addressed the Prosser campaign saying that a recount is "frivolous" by saying, "My opponents don't want a recount and that surprises me. A recount benefits everybody." She later said, "It's called American democracy."

"If there is doubt we must remove it."

"Going forward we must make sure" there must be real change in the elections in Waukesha County. "We must have a full investigation by a trained independent investigator."

The Kloppenburg campaign is questioning certain communications between the GAB and the Waukesha County Clerk's office. They have submitted those communications to the GAB.

Kloppenburg responded to questions about the Prosser campaign saying a recount is "frivolous" by saying, "The Prosser campaign made threats."

To questions that the unions or anyone else has asked Kloppenburg to do this, she said it was "her decision" and "other people have tried to [stick] her with the unions." Kloppenburg reiterated that she has been an independent throughout the campaign and looks at the facts when making decisions. She said she "has been consistent throughout that we need to do what the law says. And the law says we need a recount."

The reactions and statements from the two campaigns in the last week clearly show who's the more careful, thoughtful, and reasoned candidate - qualities one looks for in a judge.

Thank you, JoAnne Kloppenburg, and everyone who worked to bring out the truth in this election!

You can donate to the Kloppenburg campaign's fund for recount efforts on their website.

Please forgive me if my quotes aren't exact.

Update: (5:34pm) Prosser has responded, and they're clearly afraid of the public finding out the truth, calling the recount a pursuit of a "nakedly political goal." I'm sorry, but "vigorously" preventing a recount in this situation, as Prosser says he plans to do, is a "nakedly political goal."

"Justice Prosser’s recount team will work diligently in the weeks and months ahead to protect the votes of Wisconsin citizens at the same time Ms. Kloppenburg’s campaign works to take them away." What do they mean by "take them away"? No one is looking to take any votes away, that is unless they aren't real votes.

"And now, ironically, less than 24 hours after the Government Accountability Board concluded that the April 5th canvass in Waukesha County was correct, she today insists that it needs further examination."

The GAB has NOT concluded their investigation! It appears they issued the early statement so that the deadline to request a recount wouldn't need to be extended. Their short statement shows how much more remains to be done.

Also, for those who don't think tax payer money should be spent to find out the truth, you had your chance to demand answers from Kathy Nickolaus and you declined. Now we have to find out the truth ourselves. This is on Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus.

Update: (5:50pm) The video of Kloppenburg's announcement is well worth your time and can be found at WISN and on YouTube.

Update: (April 21, 1:46am) There are reports that Prosser "sent a heckler and two fake reporters" to the Kloppenburg announcement to "challenge her with loaded questions." I'm not sure how factual the reports linking them to Prosser are at this point.

The Journal Sentinel is reporting that the Kloppenburg campaign believes Prosser met with Governor Scott Walker the day after the election.
"And in her complaint seeking a probe of Nickolaus, Kloppenburg alleges Prosser had a one-on-one meeting with Republican Gov. Scott Walker on the day after the election - an explosive charge in an officially nonpartisan race where the candidates questioned each other's claims of political independence.

The next day, Walker's administration asked the Supreme Court to quickly get involved in a Dane County case that has blocked implementation of Walker's controversial plan to sharply limit collective bargaining for public employees.

Melissa Mulliken, Kloppenburg's campaign manager, said she had been in touch with two or three people with knowledge of a Prosser-Walker meeting, including at least one who observed Prosser entering the meeting."
The article also states that the GAB is requesting "permission to clear the memory devices on some voting machines." Who in their right mind thinks this is a good idea?! No erasing! Get new memory devices or do a hand recount. We cannot erase evidence.

Update: (April 21, 10:23am) WisPolitics has published documents relating to Kloppenburg's request for a full investigation of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus here.


  1. I just posted this on FB. THANK YOU! From Dorothy Fadiman Producer of
    STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote

  2. how does this benefit me? By wasting my tax dollars?

  3. Don't you want to know that our election results truly reflect the intentions of voters? What if the recount shows that an overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites voted for Prosser? Wouldn't you want to claim that? We just want to know the truth.

    If you didn't want your tax dollars spent to find answers, you should have demanded answers from Kathy Nickolaus. Now we have to get those answers ourselves.

  4. If the recount shows that an overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites voted for Prosser, then that completely proves my point that it is a waste of time. It's is called having faith in our voting system.

    And I'm confused as to what answers I'm supposed to demand from Nickolaus...She lost the election, I don't need her to tell me that.

  5. Jon: Thanks for your thoughtful comments and questions. If the recount shows that an overwhelming majority, or just a majority, of Wisconsinites voted for him, that should be enough justification, because right now there's no proof that Prosser won. Our computer election systems do NOT count the exact number of votes, they have a built-in margin of error. In this close of an election, Prosser's lead is probably within the machines' margin of error. So, even if there aren't any missing, added or incorrect votes, the current results could be wrong.

    Then if you consider all of the relevant but unanswered questions regarding the Waukesha County election system, we need a recount and an impartial investigation. The error in Waukesha County proved how easy it is for humans and computers to mess up or change the vote counts. Something could have easily happened in Waukesha County or any other county, because we don't have secure computer election systems. In fact, the computer software that caused the error in Waukesha County was written by the GAB specifically for that county. However, we know very little about it. We must know how our votes are counted, and that's why the GAB lists every other vote-tallying system on their website. The fact that Kathy Nickolaus and the GAB have refused to provide complete information on the software is particularly concerning.

    I believe you are right when you say you're confused. I asked that we demand answers from Kathy Nickolaus, the Waukesha County Clerk, not JoAnne Kloppenburg. As for the questions, I've stuck to writing about the issues and questions I have knowledge about, because the many issues are complicated and obscured. So there are many more relevant but unanswered questions beyond what I've posted on this blog, including discrepancies in the 2006 election. If Nickolaus would answer these questions, we wouldn't have to spend money to find their answers.

    We can't simply have faith in our voting system. We must have confidence in it, particularly because of how much elections affect our lives. Our Founders believed this very strongly. I will try to keep demanding answers until we can prove our elections are secure, accurate and transparent.

    Btw, the amount of voter fraud cases in the last few years (11) are far fewer than the votes that can easily be swung with a click of a mouse.

  6. Thanks for your reply. I completely missed that you said Kathy Nickolaus and not Kloppenburg, that's quite embarrassing...
    I agree that the error in Waukesha is cause for concern. However, if we can't have faith in our voting system, why should we have faith in any of the rest of government? Should we just assume that Obama's birth certificate is real? Should we look into that more, or have faith that it is?
    How people can vote an unknown like Kloppenburg into office because they just want her to vote one way on one issue is beyond me. People are just fed up with Walker they vote for the witch from wizard of oz.
    I'm sorry for all of my comments, I'm sure you're sick of me complaining. I do appreciate your time for replying, and you have made very strong points.

  7. Jon: No need to be embarrassed, you were polite and it's an easy mistake to make.

    I understand your concerns about government, and we should always demand the greatest possible assurances. Obama's birth certificate was signed and certified in the same manner as anyone else's. If you want to take into question his, you have to take into question other Presidents. It's the best proof we can get for you, me or anyone else (also his birth was announced in the local newspaper at that time).

    When it comes to votes, we can do better. We mark our vote on a (usually paper) ballot which is kept secure by many processes. However, we know computers and humans can make mistakes. So, when it comes to counting the votes. We want to know that they're counted right. We don't have to have faith, the paper is right there, and we should expect more from our computer election systems as well.

    People didn't necessarily vote for Kloppenburg as much as they voted against Prosser. Justices are expected to judge impartially, but by Prosser's own admission he would favor Walker's opinion. The overwhelming majority of Wisconsin believes in workers' rights, and I argue every worker should. Walker worked to strip those rights that Wisconsin was the first in the U.S. to recognize. That was huge, especially given our history when it comes to unions. We don't actually know that Kloppenburg would vote in favor of workers' rights, but we do know that Prosser would vote against them.

    I appreciate this dialog. Honestly, few people are willing to have polite and honest conversations about the problems we're facing today (especially on the Internet), and I'm more than happy to talk with anyone who will! It's the only way we can truly all learn together and move Forward.

    Thank you for taking the time to politely express your thoughts.

  8. "We don't actually know that Kloppenburg would vote in favor of workers' rights, but we do know that Prosser would vote against them."

    Ok so why in the world would you vote for somebody you don't even know?! Isn't that dangerous?

  9. Good question, but I didn't say we don't know Kloppenburg. We just don't know how she would judge on specific cases, because each case should be judged by its merits. Since we don't know how the collective bargaining bill will be argued, we don't know how she would judge.

    We believe Kloppenburg would be an impartial judge, so whether she would judge in favor of workers' rights would depend upon the merits of the case. However, we know that Prosser would judge against workers' rights regardless of the merits, i.e., Prosser is an activist judge.

    Most candidates for a judicial position campaign as Kloppenburg did. We voted for her because we believe she'll take an impartial view of court cases. It was kind of like picking the best of two not-so-good choices (but not really since an impartial judge is the best choice). If there was a clear candidate for workers' rights, Prosser would probably have lost by quite a large margin (but the court would have just swapped two ideologues).

  10. She'll take an impartial view of court cases? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall around election time at least one commercial she supported that completely bashed Walker.

  11. Yes, she would take an impartial view of court cases. I don't believe I heard or read anyone argue with that statement. I also don't remember such a commercial from the Kloppenburg campaign, and I doubt there is one since that would give good cause for such an argument.

    Evidence, this Journal Sentinel op-ed.

    However, I can be wrong, so if such a commercial was run, then Kloppenburg's impartiality should be taken into question.



  13. Actually, that count is incorrect, and it goes to show how little weight we must put into the unofficial results. As of today, Kloppenburg has gained 148 votes.

  14. Well, considering the recount results are constantly coming in and your link was about seven hours after mine, it kind of makes sense the results changed.