Waukesha County, Wisconsin County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus finds more than 7500 net votes for Prosser, previously missed, she says, due to “human error.”
The threshold for the state to pay the costs of a “recount” is a 0.5% margin. That margin would be approximately 7,500 votes in an election with some 1.5 million ballots. The new numbers out of Waukesha, as detailed below, give Prosser an additional 7,582 votes over Kloppenburg. That means, if the numbers across the state stay similar to what they are following the Nickolaus adjustment in Waukesha, the cost of a “recount” would most likely need to be borne by Kloppenburg.
At a press conference moments ago, Nickolaus is said to have attributed the confusion in numbers to “save error” in Microsoft Access on her computer.
As we noted, quoting the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last year in regard to questions about Nickolaus’, um, unusual election procedures:
“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.”
An audit of Nickolaus’ election procedures was subsequently performed by the county and a number of recommendations to improve the security and accuracy of her system were made by the auditors. Among them, the recommendation that she stop using the same ID and password for three different employees in her office. Nickolaus claimed, in opposing that recommendation, that it would take too much time for one employee to log off before another one logged on with a different user ID.
When presented with the results of the audit at a County Board meeting in January after Nickolaus had refused to implement the recommendations, saying only that she would take them “into consideration”, she was taken to task for what the Chairman of the Executive Committee described as her “smirks” during the discussion.