Too many questions, too few answers, far too much suspicious behavior
Solidarity Wisconsin, April 8, 2011
The current and historical conduct of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus is too highly suspicious not to warrant a complete, non-partisan investigation into her conduct as well as her political allies and personal funding sources. To rely on such an unreliable and overtly compromised, partisan player in highly controversial election would be unethical, to say the least.
The way Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus revealed her discovery of 14,300 previously uncounted votes raises disturbing questions, particularly in light of her past partisan history. She has been the subject of multiple complaints from other Waukesha officials on how she handles elections and keeps public information to herself outside the official county system where others can verify it.The new Supreme Court race vote totals she “discovered” during canvassing not only swung the election but also put the race just barely past the amount needed to trigger a state-financed recount.
It is especially troubling that she waited more than 24 hours to report the startling discovery and then did so at a press conference and only after she verified the results. This makes it all the harder to challenge and audit the integrity of the vote.
The partisan, political history of Ms. Nickolaus and the serious concerns about the quality of her performance found in an audit raises the question of whether an investigation is warranted. The public deserves to know that the votes were counted properly.
County Clerk Nickolaus, who worked in the Assembly Republican Caucus under then Minority Leader and Speaker David Prosser, has a history of clashing with county officials over her election responsibilities. She has drawn criticism from the County Board Chairman and other County Supervisors as recently as January for her unwillingness to adhere to audit recommendations. Internal Audit Manager Lori Schubert indicated that after last fall’s elections that Nickolaus needed to improve security and back-up procedures. Director of Administration Norman Cummings late last year indicated that they have not been able to verify that her system is secure.
Her approach raises questions about the integrity of the election to the highest court in our state.
Some questions and concerns include:
* Were there no other races that were being reported to Nicklolaus? Id so, why is it that only the Supreme Court race was not reported?
* Prosser is Kathy Nickolaus’s ex-employer
* Approximately 7400 vote difference is the 0.5% difference cut off for a recount. Conveniently, the found votes will force Kloppenburg to have to pay for a recount at $5 per ward
* Nickolaus was using Access, and she claims that she forgot to save the file. Doesn’t it autosave? Doesn’t it prompt you to save before closing, in which you have to click “no” if you are to “lose” the file?
* Numerous previous election system problems and suspicions in Waukesha County and with Kathy Nickolaus over the past several years – Jan 2011, Aug 2010, 2006(?)
* Kathy Nickolaus involved in Republican caucus scandal in 2001. (Nickolaus was granted immunity to testify about her role as a computer analyst for the Assembly Republican Caucus, investigated for using state resources to secretly run campaigns.)
* Reports that voter turnout during the day and final turnout were very off in her county alone, whereas turnout estimates in many other counties were quite accurate