Wisconsin Election Surprise: David Prosser Gains 7,500 Votes After 'Human Error' In Waukesha County-- In a dramatic turn of events on Thursday, the Waukesha County clerk announced that the vote total announced for Tuesday's Wisconsin Supreme Court race had been mistaken -- and that the corrected numbers changed the outcome of the entire election.
So basically, Scott Walker's favorite judge lost his re-election bid. Not too terribly surprising, given Walker's unpopularity. But wait! Suddenly this county clerk found a whole big bunch of votes that she had sorta lost somehow. And surprise! They're mostly for Walker's guy!
There were 3,456 missing votes for Democratic-backed challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg and 11,059 for incumbent GOP-backed Justice David Prosser. Kloppenburg has previously been beating Prosser by just 200 votes of the roughly 1.5 million cast statewide. The new total puts Prosser on a significant path to victory, about 7,500 votes ahead of Kloppenburg.
Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus announced the news in a press conference at 5:30 p.m. local time, sounding nervous and, at times, on the verge of tears. She insisted that there was no foul play in the results and blamed the mess on her own "human error."
Is anyone buying this? What do we know about this Kathy Nickolaus? Personally, I know absolutely nothing about her, but the Google found this:
Nickolaus was given immunity from prosecution in a 2002 criminal investigation into illegal activity by members of the assembly Republican Caucus. She worked for 13 years as a data analyst and computer specialist for the caucus.She resigned from her state job in 2002 just before launching her county clerk campaign.
So, sure, why shouldn't we trust her? She was involved in illegal activity while working for the Republican caucus? That just screams impartial & trustworthy to me!
And her stellar record overseeing elections just speaks for itself:
An audit of Nickolaus' handling of the 2010 election found that she needed to take steps to improve security and backup procedures, like stop sharing passwords. The audit was requested after the county's director of administration said Nickolaus had been uncooperative with attempts to have county experts review her systems and confirm backups were in place.
Then there's this from Daily Kos:
Nickolaus says repeatedly that she imported the data into Access, but through a process of "human error", she "forgot to save". Then come the tears, repeatedly, throughout her presser.
Here's the problem. Microsoft Access (any version) doesn't ask you to save. When you enter data into a table, it automatically updates the underlying database. If you close the database accidentally, the data you entered (or imported, in the case of Nickolaus) remains. If you stop to take a phone call from your buddy the governor (for example), your data will still automatically save.
So I decided to make a little voting database in Microsoft Access 2010 and 2007, to test her story.
I entered 10,000 votes for Prosser, and closed the database. No save prompt appeared. I came back in, and there were the 10,000 votes! Thanks Bill Gates! I entered 20,000 votes for Prosser, and did a hard shutdown of my computer. When I booted back up and reopened the file, the 20,000 votes were there! Thanks again Bill Gates!
Bottom line: Nickolaus is clearly lying. Not only did she insist on having her own private system based on some of the most unsecure, pedestrian computing technology available (Seriously? Access and Excel controlling such an important part of our democracy?), but she apparently assumes that nobody else has ever used Microsoft Access.
So a dishonest election official is apparently trying to commit a pretty blatant election fraud on behalf of a right-wing scumbag candidate. Why not? It worked in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. There is nothing these people will not do to hold on to power.