[lbo-talk] Found Wisconsin votes don't add up

Michael Pollak mpollak at panix.com
Mon Apr 11 00:35:58 PDT 2011

[h/t to Milwaukee-ite Bryan Atinsky]


April 8, 2011


Clerk Kathy Nickolaus' Fuzzy Math Doesn't Add Up in Wisconsin Race

By Sarah Jones

GAB is sending staff to Waukesha County to review vote totals for the

Wisconsin Supreme Court Race after Clerk Kathy Nickolaus' announced

yesterday that she left the city of Brookfield off of the totals she

initially reported. She explained that she uses Microsoft Access and

that she forgot to hit "save" after manually inputting the numbers. She

"found" 14,000 votes yesterday, which led to a net 7,500 votes in favor

of Prosser, who now leads at 7,319. This total gets Prosser just over

the 5%, under which the state will pay for a recount. However, there's

a problem with these found votes; Nickolaus' math doesn't add up.

It's my understanding that Microsoft Access does an automatic save

while it's being used, but I have to question why any clerk is being

allowed to keep votes only on her computer, refuses to share them on

the county computers, and trusts her own inputting of numbers that she

doesn't save, especially with her track record of criminal

investigations and reprimands from county officials regarding the

failure of security in her procedures. Kathy goes way back with the

Republican Party, and this isn't her first go at electioneering, if you

will, on behalf of the party. Kathy seems at best incompetent, but

since all of her errors benefit only one party, it begs the question of

whether or not she is engaging in fraudulent activities. In either

case, I'm unclear as to why she has been entrusted with the votes of

taxpaying citizens.

To add to all of that, a friend of mine who happens to be an attorney

did some math on the Wisconsin situation, and Nickolaus' numbers don't

add up. He sent me the following breakdown, to which I've added

editorial information. According to the 2010 census, there are 38,649

living in Brookfield. Of these Male 48.4% Female 51.6%, Median Age 42.

Most of the media has been focusing on the 38,649 number, which --

given a 33% turnout over all -- would yield about the 14,000 votes

reported. This makes sense, and certainly Kathy Nickolaus knows how to

break up demographics having made the computer program that breaks

apart voting trends in different counties for the Republican Party.

But the voting age and over population for Brookfield is 73.2%. This

yields a possible voting base of 28,291. Registered voters? Doesn't

matter. Wisconsin allows folks to register on the day of the elections.

So, let's assume all of the 28,291 were registered. The figures don't

add up: Statewide turnout --and in the rest of Waukesha county -- was

33%. Even assuming that all 28,291 over the age of 18 were registered

voters, that 33% turnout -- which was reported as very high -- would

have yielded no more than 9,430 votes.

But Kathy Nickalous reported 14,315 votes, a surprising 53% increase of

a voting surge, for that one city -- over the rest of Wisconsin and

from Wuukesha County -- from 33% to 50.5%

And in Brookfield, at least 75% of that total had to choose incumbent

David Prosser against 25% for challenger Joan Klopenberg to reach just

beyond the .5% margin to avoid a mandatory recount.

I'm sorry, but the places we were likely to see the most motivated

voters were not in conservative areas; this is proven in the recall

efforts, for example, as well as by the shifts in rural areas that went

for Walker in 2010. Emily Mills reported for the Daily Isthmus:

In fact, some of the strongest support for Kloppenburg came from

places like rural Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas, and Iron Counties up

north. In total, 32 counties straight-up went to Kloppenburg, and

even in counties that favored Prosser, several did so in much

smaller numbers than they'd done in the primaries, indicating a

serious shift away from the incumbent in the wake of Walker's

union-busting and the wave of protests.

So, areas that went for Walker flipped to Kloppenburg and areas that

went for Prosser had lower numbers than they did in the primaries.

Voter enthusiasm on the conservative side was down. The most motivated

voters are the people who are the most threatened by the anti-union

bill, and those voters turned out to vote for Kloppenburg. So I can't

buy this surge in voter turnout that is higher than any other county in


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