Yeah, Kloppenburg declaring victory doesn’t look so good now, does it?
JoAnne Kloppenburg’s declaration of victory may have been premature, but it wasn’t rash. Standard procedure in in a recount is to be the first to declare victory and then make the other candidate prove you’re wrong. It’s the way the game is played.
Enter Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, who has a colorful history as clerk of our county, and another 7000+ votes for Prosser (video). If it will make Kloppenburg supporters feel any better, this isn’t the first time there has been a glitch in Nickolaus’ counting. It’s not fraud, it’s Kathy.
If you think the Waukesha County Board was interested before in the operation of Nickolaus’ office, wait until they hear about this one.
The WisPolitics Election Blog now reports the final canvass from a dozen counties “have added 280 votes to JoAnne Kloppenburg’s total and 7,498 to David Prosser’s. That has netted Prosser 7,218 votes.”
They say that does not include the 244 votes from Winnebago County, where the canvassing is not complete.
Now it’s Prosser’s turn:
“I’m encouraged by the various reports from the county canvases. Our confidence is high, and we will continue to monitor with optimism, and believe that the positive results will hold. We’ve always maintained faith in the voters and trust the election officials involved in the canvasing will reaffirm the lead we’ve taken.”
Okay, I admit. I am laughing my head off. I wonder if Nickolaus will throw the media out of the clerk’s office during the next election.
Update! The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that the vote gain by Prosser may be enough to push the margin of victory beyond the threshold for a free recount. Also, election attorney Mike Maistelman offers his opinion.
Once the final official numbers are in, either candidate – but no one else – can request a recount. If the margin between the candidates is less than 0.5% the state charges nothing to conduct the recount.
But the added votes from Waukesha County could push the total far enough toward Prosser that a free recount would no longer be available to Kloppenburg, who on Wednesday had an unofficial 204-vote lead out of nearly 1.5 million votes cast.
If the final margin of victory is between 0.5% and 2% of the vote, the candidate asking for the recount must pay $5 per ward.
Mike Maistelman, an election attorney who often does work for Democrats, said he expected a recount would still happen despite Prosser’s large vote gain.
“Nobody knows what’s up or what’s down,” he said. “One day we win and the next day we lost by 10,000 votes? How do we know they did it right this time?”