By Brad Friedman on 8/16/2010, 10:50am PT  

Really, really dumb:

Waukesha - Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus' decision to go it alone in how she collects and maintains election results has some county officials raising a red flag about the integrity of the system.

Nickolaus said she decided to take the election data collection and storage system off the county's computer network - and keep it on stand-alone personal computers accessible only in her office - for security reasons.

"What it gave me was good security of the elections from start to finish, without the ability of someone unauthorized to be involved," she said.

Nonetheless, Director of Administration Norman A. Cummings said because Nickolaus has kept them out of the loop, the county's information technology specialists have not been able to verify Nickolaus' claim that the system is secure from failure.

"How does anybody else in the county know, except for her verbal word, that there are backups, and that the software she has out there is performing as it should?" he said. "There's no way I can assure that the election system is going to be fine for the next presidential election."

Cummings stressed that the voting process at local polling places is not in question. However, municipal clerks send their election night results by dial-up modem to the county clerk, where they are tabulated and stored.
...
Several years ago, Nickolaus discontinued reporting election results on her county website for individual municipalities, as was done under the prior clerk.

Hopefully, the citizens and county administrators in Waukesha County, Wisconsin (adjacent to Milwaukee) will realize how completely insane it is to allow one person, County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus (R), to have complete, unfettered, un-observable, un-overseeable control of such public information, and are willing to do something about it.

For the record, for just one tiny reason why election officials are not to simply be "trusted" (as the very best ones will tell you), here's the story of former Monterey County (CA) Clerk Tony Anchundo. And, if that's not enough, feel free to peruse the story of Clay County (KY) Clerk Freddy Thompson. Just let us know if you need more.

What part of 'public official' and 'public elections' to these sorts of folks not get???

[Hat-tip to Milwaukee's election integrity watchdog and periodic BRAD BLOG guest blogger John Washburn]

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