[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
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