The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), the state's top election authority, found "no major discrepancy" during its four-day investigation of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus' handling of the contentious April 5th state Supreme Court race.
The state probe, however, did not examine the accuracy of elections results as reported by the county's electronic tabulation systems.
According to an initial report released by the G.A.B. in time for the tomorrow's 5pm deadline for Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg to decide if she will request a state-sponsored "recount," officials carried out a "thorough onsite examination of the documentation submitted from all the reporting units within Waukesha County ... to determine whether the official canvass results certified by the Waukesha County Board of Canvassers matched the returns provided by the municipalities."
Though they found a number of seemingly minor "discrepancies [in] the Waukesha County election returns that could not be explained based upon the documentation reviewed," the officials said that while there were "some anomalies identified, the G.A.B. found no major discrepancies between Waukesha County's official canvass report and the documentation provided by the municipalities." The discrepancies included what appeared to be one provisional vote for the incumbent Justice David Prosser, and two write-in votes for Kloppenburg which were not included in the canvass report turned into the state by Clerk Nickolaus.
The agency said their probe determined no corrections to the canvass were necessary "absent any post election proceedings," and added that "A more thorough discussion of these anomalies will be provided in the agency's complete report" promised within the next 60 days. [The G.A.B.'s complete, one-and-a-half page report, is posted at the end of this article.]
The state's investigation did not, however, appear to include examination of computer vote tabulators or paper ballots to determine the accuracy of optical-scan results reported by the electronic systems used in the county. The report suggests that paper work, such as the "Total Votes Cast Report from Voting Equipment" and "Security Documentation of Voting Equipment Memory Devices," was examined along with "Ballot Container Security Seals/Documentation" and a reconciliation of poll lists and other logs.
As The BRAD BLOG has noted since unofficial results of the election --- which had become a proxy battle between supporters and opponents of Republican Gov. Scott Walker's union-stripping legislation --- the optically-scanned paper ballot results, tallied by oft-failed, easily-manipulated computer tabulators in Waukesha, as well as the rest of the state, have not been verified for accuracy by human beings. Rather, the state's post-election canvass procedures rely only on computer-reported totals as checked against poll books and the number of ballots cast as reported by the computer counters...