Wisconsin's Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg has filed paperwork for a statewide, state-sponsored "recount" in the controversial April 5th State Supreme Court election. She has also called for a special investigator be named to examine questions about election results in Waukesha County, where the County Clerk's procedures have come under fire both before and since the election.
Speaking to supporters at a press conference moments ago in Madison, Kloppenburg pointed to a number of reported irregularities around the state, including in Waukesha County, as well as Racine and Milwaukee and a number of other areas, which helped lead to her decision to ask for such a count. She also mentioned unusually high undervote rates in a number of districts that the campaign had examined.
"A recount may change the outcome of this election or it may confirm it, but when it is done, a recount will have shed necessary and appropriate light on an election that right now, seems to so many people to be suspect," Kloppenburg said.
In response to a question from reporters, she added, "I've asked for a recount to determine what the right count is, and also to preserve confidence in the electoral process."
Kloppenburg stated that her campaign would be asking for a hand count of ballots in several districts, and will work with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), the state's top election agency, to determine which areas should be hand counted. State recount procedures allow for a machine recount of paper ballots unless a hand examination is ordered by a court.
In response to critics of such a post-election examination of results, including from the campaign of her opponent, Justice David Prosser, Kloppenburg was unflinching in her response, saying they've called it "a drama and a circus. Actually, it's called American Democracy."
During her remarks, she also called for on the G.A.B. "to appoint a special investigator to professionally, thoroughly and completely investigate the actions and words of the Waukesha County Clerk." That County Clerk, Kathy Nickolaus, a GOP activist and former employee of Prosser's while in the Assembly Republican Caucus, has become the focus of a number of anomalies that have emerged in election results since Election Night.
"The recount will reveal if there were discrepancies in the Waukesha vote count, but going forward, an independent investigation needs to determine what the clerk did there and why," she explained, while pointing to a number of still-unanswered questions about post-election vote tallies in Waukesha, including why it is that "conservative bloggers" were told about those adjustments before they were announced publicly.
"I don't know what will happen in the recount, but we're asking for a recount to determine what the proper count should be, and to help, from this point forward, to assure that elections are fair," Kloppenburg said, stressing her belief that the count should move forward for the benefit of all voters in Wisconsin...