Five out of six bags of ballots from first batch to be counted out of the City of Brookfield in Waukesha County, WI, today were discovered "almost wide open" during Day 9 of the statewide Supreme Court election "recount." The bags were open and unsealed, according to both photographic evidence and an eye-witnesses account from the counting room. (Many more exclusive photos posted below.)
"When the ballot bags were taken out and placed upon the counting table, we were literally stunned," one of the citizen observers, Mary Magnuson, a Kloppenburg volunteer, told The BRAD BLOG this morning. "5 out of the 6 ballot bags were almost literally wide open, and ballots could be clearly seen."
The ballots in those bags were among the 14,000 said to have been cast in the April 5th election, but left off of Waukesha County's tally as reported to the media on Election Night.
Earlier this week we offered a detailed report on the status of the statewide "recount," highlighting a host of disturbing and outright violations of the chain of custody of ballots, including unnumbered and renumbered ballots bags (many of them from Waukesha County); ballots discovered unsecured and/or left out of the original count all together; and exceedingly sloppy record-keeping and reporting of "recount" results by the state's chief election agency, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.). In sum, we described the state of the "recount" of the contested election between Republican incumbent Justice David Prosser and his independent challenger Asst. AG JoAnne Kloppenburg, as "a mess."
Today, after the newest revelations from the Waukesha County counting room, it got a lot messier.
"We are finding significant anomalies, including chain of custody and missing ballots, that we need to shine light on," Kloppenburg campaign manager Melissa Mulliken told The BRAD BLOG earlier this week, while we were working on our previous story. The anomalies she was referring to, given where today's unsecured ballots are said to come from, have gotten much more "significant" in the past few hours...