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Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus Needs To Resign Over Botched Election Results

April 8, 2011

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus needs to resign because of the statewide mess she created concerning the election returns from the State Supreme Court race.

The reasons Kathy Nickolaus needs to resign as County Clerk are multi-fold.   

Kathy Nickolaus demonstrated a lack of professionalism that is expected of an official with her responsibilities.  She has also failed to be professional over time, and in so doing helped create the chaos that now engulfs Wisconsin.  

Kathy Nickolaus is also very suspect in this vote fiasco in light of the fact she was granted immunity after a caucus scandal when she worked as an Assembly Republican Caucus Employee while David Prosser was both Minority Leader and later as Speaker of the State Assembly.

Simply put, what took place in Waukesha County reeks to the heavens!  Kathy Nickolaus must own up to the massive problem, and resign.

Late Thursday the Waukesha County clerk announced that the vote total in Tuesday’s Wisconsin Supreme Court race had been mistaken, and that the corrected numbers changed the outcome of the entire election.

There were 3,456 missing votes for Democratic-backed challenger Kathleen Kloppenburg and 11,059 for incumbent GOP-backed Justice David Prosser. Kloppenburg has previously been beating Prosser by just 200 votes of the roughly 1.5 million cast statewide. The new total puts Prosser on a significant path to victory, about 7,500 votes ahead of Kloppenburg.

This error seems more than fishy given the past working relationship Kathy Nickolaus has had with David Prosser.  For thirteen years Nickolaus worked for the Wisconsin State Assembly Republican Caucus as a data analyst and computer specialist.  During that time Prosser served in powerful elected positions in the State Assembly. 

Before Kathy Nicklous resigned in 2002 from her partisan job she  was granted immunity to testify about her role in the caucus.  The Republican Caucus was under investigation for using state resources (tax dollars) to secretly run campaigns.

There is no way that I buy into Kathy Nickolaus’ near-tearful explanation of how Brookfield was misplaced when counting and adding the numbers.  There is no degree of plausibility given all we know about her.  Kathy Nicklous’ partisan dealings that landed her in the legal arena makes this latest, and most unbelievable turn of events, not rising to the smell test.

Kathy Nickolaus’ lack of professionalism is underscored by the fact Waukesha County has what can only be described as an outdated and rickety means of keeping  tabs of votes cast.  She has insisted the county results be kept on an antiquated personal computer, rather than upgrade to a new data system being utilized statewide.  

When confronted about the problems in the past she smiled in face of the facts that were presented to her.

The Waukesha County Board also heavily criticized the clerk after she brushed aside their recommendations for improving election security. At one point during a hearing in January, board chairman Jim Dwyer grew exasperated with Nickolaus and said, “There really is nothing funny about this, Kathy. Don’t sit there and grin when I’m explaining what this is about.”

Again, what has occurred in Waukesha County regarding the court election does not meet the smell test.

Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Barca gave voice late Thursday for voters all over Wisconsin in a blunt statement.  

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.

No one can relish the idea of making it clear to someone that they must step aside from a job.  But the damage that Kathy Nickolaus has done to our election process in Wisconsin is no small thing.  The people’s faith in casting a ballot has been damaged by the actions undertaken in the last 48 hours from the Waukesha County Clerk. 

It is time that Kathy Nickolaus resign her office.

The people of Waukesha County and all of Wisconsin deserve no less.

29 Comments
  1. Barry permalink
    April 8, 2011 8:53 AM

    I think this issue should be fully investigated and if wrong doing is determined, Ms Nickolaus should be prosecuted to full extent of the law. Interferring with a State election results is a serious crime against Democracy!

  2. Lynn Damron permalink
    April 8, 2011 8:26 AM

    Florida all over again!
    “She has insisted the county results be kept on an antiquated personal computer, rather than upgrade to a new data system being utilized statewide.”
    The votes should not even be counted under the circumstances. When are votes keep on a personal computer. This county should have a revote after her resignation.
    Wisconsin is becoming a Banana republic.

  3. Susan permalink
    April 8, 2011 8:16 AM

    People make mistakes and I bet if the mistake was made in favor of Kloppenburg, you wouldn’t be demanding a resignation. Requiring her resignation will only ensure that some people who make honest mistakes in the future will not admit them out of fear of losing their job.

    I find your article to be lacking in professionalism.

  4. Conley permalink
    April 8, 2011 8:10 AM

    Nothing stinks here. She didn’t “find” any votes. These votes were cast and recorded and REPORTED TO THE MEDIA on election night by the city officials. The county clerk just screwed up and managed to leave them out of her report to the associated press. During the OFFICIAL process of verifying votes the mistake was quickly spotted and rectified. No new votes were found. The report was just fixed. The only problem here is that you and Kloppenburg alike were too giddy about a completely unofficial report that she had a 200 vote lead. Maybe next time she won’t declare until they, you know, start the real tally?

  5. bill smith permalink
    April 8, 2011 8:02 AM

    You never made a mistake? That’s why the canvas the votes. Too quick to report. Fire her! If you fired all public sector employees that make mistakes, there wouldn’t be anybody to run this country!
    ws

  6. Publius permalink
    April 8, 2011 6:43 AM

    She should resign because she reported inaccurate numbers to the press?

    Does anyone – including Peter Barca – even know how voting machines and canvasses work? The tapes that come from the voting machines showed the discrepancy. Ergo, her REPORTING errors were found and voila – the canvass worked!

    Is this embarassing for Nicklaus? I’m sure. Is it frustrating for the public? Absolutely! But there is no impropriety here. To suggest so only betrays your ignorance and complete buy-in to the hyperbolic ranting of defeatism.

    The problem Barca and Kloppenburg have by calling for documents and an investigation is that they will ultimately be rebuked; that is, the investigation and documents will show exactly what happened – the canvass worked as it should and Nicklaus reported wrong numbers to the PRESS.

    But go ahead… drag the story out. Drag out the story that Wisconsinites have so roundly rejected Walker since his election that ads that said Prosser=Walker led to Prosser winning his reelection.

    Nice work. If Prosser=Walker and Prosser wins, then, to quote Charlie Sheen, “Duh. Winning!”

    The longer and lounder Barca et al keep howling over this election, the more it reinforces the idea that the Left is incapable of accepting democratic results from November and now this April.

  7. sam permalink
    April 8, 2011 4:17 AM

    Anyone know if the Federal D.A will be able to investigate Kathy Nickolaus if the Federal Government gets shutdown?

  8. April 8, 2011 1:45 AM

    After answering a few minor questions, Ms. Nickolaus directed all further inquiries to her press secretary, David Copperfield.

  9. Jeanette R Jacobs permalink
    April 8, 2011 1:36 AM

    Something stinks. I hope that if Ms Nickolaus has tampered with the vote, she is proscecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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