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

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

  1. LA Badger

    As a Sconnie transplanted to L.A., I found the following statement in the Times this morning:

    “Democrat, Ramona Kitzinger [previously stated that she was one of the Dem. reps at the canvas] told reporters at the news conference that Nickolaus was telling the truth. “We went over everything and made sure that all the numbers jived up, and they did,” Kitzinger said.

    If a democrat says that she was telling the truth, then it must be true.

  2. Jeff H

    Something tells me you’d be sending this woman flowers if she’d turned up more votes for the bleeding-heart liberal (Kloppenburg)…

  3. CJ McD

    “People make mistakes and I bet if the mistake was made in favor of Kloppenburg, you wouldn’t be demanding a resignation. ”

    @Susan- I would if they were previously employed as an IT specialist for the Democratic party and had been under investigation for previous discretions and granted immunity in the investigation. I would if they were using antiquated, unsupported and high security breach worthy computer equipment. I would if they violated security practices by sharing passwords. I would if they had previous problems in 2006 with absentee ballots and again in 2004 for using incorrect ballots in two different districts.

    I would if a left wing online news source “broke” the news of the exisitence of missing votes before an other news agency including AP, ala http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/264209/breaking-computer-error-gives-prosser-7381-more-votes-almost-certain-victory-christian How did he get that information before AP?

    I am an independent voter. It’s not a stretch to review Kathy’s connections, history and performance to conclude that there’s something seriously out of the ordinary going on. Let me spell it out for you.


    Don’t expect the WI DOJ to do anything other than shuffle, mutter and drag their feet. C.O.L.L.U.S.I.O.N.

    No Susan. I WOULD be demanding her resignation. I would also demand a federal investigation in addition to the implementation of performance requirements and operational standards for the office of Waukesha County Clerk.

    Kathy Nickolaus is a tool.

  4. betty

    Mistakes happen, but if you have been previously warned to include others into this task and you have refused and a mistake has been made calling into question suspicious activity, then you need to be held accountable. It was her decision to do this her way, therefore it is her wrong doing especially because she had been warned.

  5. richard whetstone

    It is rather odd that the newly discovered votes for Kloppenburg was 3456. What are the odds that this perfect sequence happened by chance? Also, it is convenient that the new numbers posted for Prosser just happened to make the margin of victory over the threshold that would trigger an automatic recount

  6. Fugly

    There are only two possible explanations–either Nickolaus is corrupt, or incompetent. Either one is justification for demanding that she resign.

  7. David R Velasquez

    She should be fired for her lack of professionalism.
    It doesn’t matter if she’s a republican or a democrat or a green or an independant.
    She was involved in a previous voting irregularity and was given immunity. Which is fine.
    But when she was warned about the potential damage of not upgrading and creating a more secure and transparent manner of vote accounting… she scoffed and by some accounts, smirked.
    One could say ‘smiled’… doesn’t matter how you want to paint it or your partisan leanings. She could have been completely friendly about it, but nonetheless she acknowledged the comments and did nothing.
    People hold on to jobs based on their ability to carry out and manage the tasks and responsibilities to which they’re charged. When they prove incapable of it… and even culpable in accidents caused by negligence then the responsible thing is to accept responsibility as an adult and accept the consequences. And in this case it would mean being fired or resigning. And then you rebuild your reputation through other means.

    The pro republicans who are defending her are being hypocritical. They talk of personal responsibility. Hey, if you can’t apply it to your own,… then shut up about it.

  8. WisKid


    If this is not fraud I will be absolutely flabbergasted. How many “coincidences” and “human errors” that flip elections do you need? This woman was told that she needed to change her voting system and she refused. WHY WOULD SHE DO THAT UNLESS IT WAS TO HER BENEFIT NOT TO?!

    She had means, motive, opportunity, and a past history of similar behavior. She leaked this info to the Republican party noon monday, but didn’t tell the election officials/observers until OVER A DAY LATER! WHY!? That is an awful lot of time to cover up evidence and fake ballots.

    Everyone in Wisconsin should be smelling that fishy odor eminating from Waukesha county. I don’t care what your affiliation, this kind of thing is not ok.

    Imagine if this news came from some third world country, that an employee of the ruling party with close personal ties to the rulers and candidate magically finds 14k votes? You would immediately know that the ruling class defrauded the electorate.

  9. WisKid

    David: “People hold on to jobs based on their ability to carry out and manage the tasks and responsibilities to which they’re charged”

    This womans job seems to involve tampering with elections. Her “errors” have flipped 3 elections, so it seems like she is doing her job perfectly.

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