4:30pm Update: In her press conference about a half-hour ago, Kathy Nickolaus claimed she failed to import the results from Brookfield City into her master tally that was reported to the press. The numbers she reported as an 'update' which gave Prosser 7,000 more votes were clearly reported in real time on election night.
As expected, Brookfield city voters ran up a good turnout in the state Supreme Court race and gave incumbent Justice David Prosser nearly 11,000 votes.
Unofficial, unaudited results showed 76 percent of city residents who voted picked Prosser, with 24 percent voting for challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg.
The numbers were identical to the ones Nickolaus just reported. She claims they weren't imported into the spreadsheet, but if that were true, the discrepancy should have been 14,715 votes total.
Part of the problem is how she's using different numbers for the same conclusion. The difference between 14,715 and 3,456 is 11,259. But she claims the "extra" was 7300+. So how is it that some, but not all, votes were recorded even though she forgot to "save"?
Sure, sure it was a computer error. This comes from County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus just a few minutes ago.
David Prosser gained about 7,582 votes in Waukesha County, according to a summary statement from the board of canvassers.
Canvassers around the state were updating their totals Thursday, with Prosser and JoAnne Kloppenburg each making gains.
Those changes pale in comparison to the change in Waukesha County, where Prosser's total increased by 11,008 and Kloppenburg's rose 3,426.
County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus is planning a news conference in about 20 minutes to explain the change from initial reports Tuesday night.
Waukesha County's board of canvassers just met in the county courthouse in Waukesha. It was earlier reported that Prosser picked up 200 votes in New Berlin after a clerical error was discovered, according to Pat Karcher, a member of the board of canvassers in Waukesha County. Karcher spoke during a break in the canvassers meeting. The error occurred in Ward 12, where a vote for Prosser was reported as 37 but the tape revealed 237 votes for Prosser.
It seems that Kathy Nickolaus has a history with regard to questionable election practices:
The issue came to a head when Nickolaus removed the election results collection and tallying system from the county computer network this spring and installed it on standalone personal computers in her office. She has said they are backed up with redundant systems.
Director of Administration Norman A. Cummings said Nickolaus has been uncooperative with attempts to have information technologists review the system and confirm the backups.
He said he isn't interested in placing the system on the county network, but he wants to know whether the system is functional and secure and whether the county will have to replace equipment and programs in the next budget year - in time for the next presidential election.
"It is not a good idea to have one person in charge of everything," Cummings told the committee. "There should be someone who also reviews things. I'm not saying it should be IT. But there should be more accountability than there is now."
Nickolaus had asked for a postponement of the discussion because she had scheduled poll worker training before the matter was scheduled for committee action.
In several memos to the committee, she said she didn't have confidence that security wouldn't be breached with the county's information technology department.
She presented information from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission that said voting systems should never be connected to a network not under the election official's control.
She also said she's running the most current election software certified - as required - by the state.
The only old equipment, she wrote, was a computer that collects results from local polling places by modem over the telephone lines.
Waukesha County is one of three or four counties that use that method.
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