Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Could be worse. Could be a Supreme Court election

1

Not sure yet where the goof-up came from but Outagamie County is the latest with some explaining to do about properly reporting election results.

There appears to be an inaccuracy in Outagamie County election results that makes the race between Republican Sen. Rob Cowles and Democratic challenger Nancy Nusbaum closer than first reported.

According to the unofficial tally, Nusbaum received no votes in four Kaukauna precincts. That in itself is an anomaly. Add in that 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Barrett won all four of those precincts quite handily and it’s a sure head scratcher.

Another precinct in Howard had zero votes for either candidate, but that occurred in 2010 as well.

A first glance at the results leads me to believe that a column is missing in Kaukauna, and the votes for Cowles are actually the votes for Nusbaum, and the figures under the column marked “State Senator District 2 Ballots Cast” are the Cowles votes. If that’s the case, Cowles won the county, and the district, by less than what we thought last night.

A call made to the Outagamie County clerk was not immediately returned.

If the numbers are altered to reflect the changes I noted above, Cowles’ win in Outagamie County was 6,844 votes to 5,215, or 56 percent to 44. That’s much more closely aligned with results from the other three district counties — 56-43 in Brown, 60-40 in Oconto and Shawano — than the 69 percent advantage that’s currently being reported.

When adjusting all the numbers, it looks like Cowles then won the district with about 56 percent of the vote, not 60 percent.

The Green Bay Press Gazette adds an update, “The Outagamie County clerks office confirmed that their spreadsheet was off and the results as fixed below are correct. Cowles won the county with 54 percent of the vote, not 69 percent.”

Forget conspiracy theories about Diebold voting machines. We need to ban using Excel for election results.

The Outagamie County Clerk, Lori O’Bright, a Republican, was elected to the job earlier this year. From her Facebook page:

Lori O’Bright for Outagamie County Clerk
I was officially sworn into office April 19, 2011, at 4:00 p.m. by The Honorable Judge Gage and immediate family attended. That evening was a County Board meeting. The next day, the recount of the Supreme Court Race was announced. The County Clerk’s office is a very valuable position within the County, and I’m very honored to serve in this position.
April 22 at 5:19pm · Like · · Share

Lori O’Bright for Outagamie County Clerk
Last week Thursday and Friday, I observed the canvass by the Board of Canvassers and the acting County Clerk (Deputy County Clerk Sara Hickey). The canvass is a careful process to reconcile reported results given to the County Clerk on the evening of April 5. I look forward to being an active part of this process as one of my duties in the next election.
April 11 at 6:39pm · Like · · Share

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