Monday, April 18, 2011

Latest Info On Wisconsin Supreme Court Election - Prosser Attempting To Squash Democracy

According to WisPolitics, tweets by the State Journal, and a TPM article, the Prosser campaign plans to "vigorously" block any effort for a recount, even though they were previously open to a recount. Now I'm extremely skeptical, we need answers now! This is an attempt to squash democracy in its clearest form!

I also keep getting asked what's the latest information on the Supreme Court election and the vote count in Waukesha County. So I decided I would write a post with all of the latest news. The short answer is nothing.

Here's what I know at this point:
  • The latest vote counts can be found here.
  • Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus still hasn't clarified her explanation for the missing votes that she gave during the press conference on April 7th.
  • The day after Nickolaus's press conference, U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the vote count in Waukesha County. The request is being reviewed.
  • Two days after the press conference, One Wisconsin Now began collecting signatures for a petition to request a bipartisan investigation. In less than 48 hours they had collected over 10,000 signatures. You can sign the petition here.
  • Last week Monday (4/11), the Waukesha County Canvass Board member who is the only non-Republican member and has been used to legitimatize the vote counts, Ramona Kitzinger, wrote a statement saying that she "was never shown anything that would verify Kathy's statement about the missing vote" and she told Nickolaus that she doesn't "understand anything about computers."
  • Later that day, the Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy told WisPolitics they didn't at that point see "any criminal activity." WisPolitics added that the GAB is in the "process of matching those numbers for all Waukesha County wards." I note that criminal activity in this situation can be very difficult if not impossible to detect, and the GAB is not looking at the ballots.
  • Wednesday, nine state Democrats wrote a letter to the Republican chairs of the Elections and Judiciary committees asking those committees to investigate Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus. There's been no response that I'm aware of.
  • Thursday, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin asked the GAB to investigate the vote counts in Waukesha County going back to at least 2006. The GAB then confirmed they are investigating election results from that county going back at least five years.
  • All of the counties finished their canvass last week Friday with Prosser in the lead only by using the controversial new vote counts from Waukesha County.
  • The GAB hasn't completed their investigation into Waukesha County's vote counts yet.
  • Kloppenburg has until Wednesday at 5pm to request a recount, and nothing specific has come out of that campaign that I'm aware of.
  • The Prosser campaign won't comment on the vote count in Waukesha County even though they're demanding there be no recount and will "vigorously" prevent any attempt. Prosser's a Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge, but he says he has no position on the matter. It sounds like Prosser needs more information about the missing votes before drawing a reasoned conclusion, too. However, then it's absolutely wrong to claim there's no need for a recount.
  • Tuesday (4/19), the GAB issued a statement saying that they see no major discrepancies in the 2011 vote counts from Waukesha County and only a few more minor anomalies have been found thus far, but they're still continuing their investigation. I note that there are still many ways the vote counts could differ from the actual counts for which the GAB hasn't looked into.
  • Wednesday, JoAnne Kloppenburg announced her request for a statewide recount and a full investigation, citing many unanswered questions and unresolved issues with the election.
Considering this was a non-partisan election, it's sad that more Republicans aren't asking for clarification so that we can determine and fix the issues in Waukesha County. I'd be demanding answers no matter what, because I know our elections have issues and I would like them solved. Instead, the Republicans in the State Senate are trying to quietly pass the Voter Distraction Bill (SB6) to spend lots of money to try to fix a near non-issue in our elections, voter fraud (more below).

Prosser's right, we shouldn't have to pay for a recount to get answers, and we shouldn't base a recount on controversial vote counts. So we need clarification now. However, it's absolutely wrong to prevent a candidate from executing a recount when there's so much doubt surrounding the one thing preventing that candidate from winning.

Tens of thousands of Wisconsinites have already signed a petition for a bipartisan investigation into the vote counts in Waukesha County started by One Wisconsin Now. I urge you to add your name to the petition here and tell your friends and family about our request for a bipartisan and impartial investigation.

I implore you to help fix the issues with the election system in Waukesha County, and Wisconsin as a whole, by demanding clarification now. Here are some easy and effective ways to help get that clarification.

We must demand real solutions to problems with our elections. Unlike pseudo-solutions such as the Voter Distraction Bill (Senate Bill 6), which requires an ID to vote and only seeks to stifle valid voters, there are solutions that would noticeably improve our elections.

Update: (April 19, 6:31pm) Updated to include the latest statements from the Government Accountability Board.

I also find it interesting that the only two things the Journal Sentinel appears to have left out of this article is the Prosser campaign statements saying they plan to "vigorously" block a recount and the fact that the GAB is continuing their investigation.

Update: (April 21, 8:18am) Added JoAnne Kloppenburg's recount and investigation announcement.

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