Vote count 'human error' shadows Wisconsin Supreme Court election
A county clerk discovered 14,000 unrecorded votes, which just happened to turn the election for the man she once worked for. "Human error," as she claims, or something more nefarious?
Questions are being raised in Wisconsin regarding the party ties of a local county clerk whose discovery of about 14,000 unrecorded votes is assuring a victory for the Republican incumbent in last week’s election for state Supreme Court. A federal investigation into the matter was requested late Friday night.Skip to next paragraph
Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus became the center of the controversy Thursday when she announced she failed to record the votes of Brookfield, a city located outside Milwaukee that typically leans Republican.
For nearly two months, Wisconsin has been in the national spotlight regarding a bill Gov. Walker introduced that erodes union power in the state.
Late last month, a circuit court judge issued a temporary restraining order barring the bill from becoming law, saying more time was needed to review the procedure Senate Republicans took to push the bill through in order to make it law.
The Walker administration says the legality of its actions is sound and has moved forward in adopting the law.
The case will likely end up being decided by the state’s Supreme Court, which brought unprecedented attention on last Tuesday’s election, pitting incumbent Justice David Prosser, backed by Republicans, and Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, favored by Democrats.
Before Ms. Nickolaus announced her mistake, Ms. Kloppenburg seemed headed for victory. She had a 204-vote lead out of 1.5 million votes cast and a recount was in the works.
The unrecorded ballots discovered Thursday favor Mr. Prosser, putting him ahead by 7,500 votes. Nickolaus told reporters that her mistake was “human error” and she apologized.
Nickolaus is now under scrutiny for her ties to the state’s Republican party. She worked as a data analyst and computer specialist for the state’s Republican caucus for 13 years, a time window that included Prosser’s brief tenure as Assembly speaker in 1995 and 1996.