More than 24 hours after the Associated Press declared Democratic-backed challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg the winner of the April 5th Wisconsin Supreme Court election, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus announced she had "discovered" 14,000 missing votes that put Republican-backed Justice David Prosser in the lead.
This is deeply troubling not only because Nicholaus is a former employee of David Prosser, with a history of controversial electioneering. (1)
More worrisome are reports that Nicholaus ignored standard security protocols as well as a directive from county officials to store election data in the county database -- instead opting to keep all the election data on her personal office computers. (2)
Wisconsin voters deserve a fully transparent investigation into this troubling sequence of events. Given the turmoil caused at the state level by Gov. Walker, we need federal action to ensure a fair and complete investigation in Waukesha County.
Tell AG Holder: Launch a federal investigation to ensure a fair Wisconsin election.
This course of action was proposed by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin in a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on April 8th, saying:
"To ensure that the April 5th election for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice is free, fair, and transparent, and to uphold faith in our democracy for ourselves and future generations, I ask for your immediate assistance in investigating these election inconsistencies in Wisconsin.
Specifically, I urge you to immediately assign the Justice Department Public Integrity Section, which oversees the federal prosecution of election crimes, to investigate the questionable handling of vote records in Waukesha County, Wisconsin." (3)
Justice Prosser's campaign has denounced calls for a federal investigation as "unnecessary." But far too many questions remain unanswered for Wisconsin voters to have confidence in these election results.
Add your voice to Congresswoman Baldwin's to ensure this election is not forever clouded by doubt about its fairness and accuracy.
1. "Waukesha County clerk has drawn criticisms in the past," Dee J. Hall, Wisconsin State Journal, 04-09-2011. 2. "Wisconsin Election Surprise: David Prosser Gains 7,500 Votes After 'Human Error' In Waukesha County," Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post, 04-09-2011. 3. Congresswoman Baldwin's Letter to AG Eric Holder, 04-08-2011.