In WI, a recount at state-expense is triggered if an election is within .5% if the candidate requests it, and we have a fully verifiable paper trail to audit election results. That means in this election with approximately 740k for Kloppenburg and 739k for Prosser, the vote gets recounted at state-expense if the election is within ~7400 votes.
So the last 2 days the WI-GOP has been scrambling trying to figure out how they can still get Prosser into office. What was the result of their brain-storming? Add a few extra votes in a friendly area (Waukesha), and call it a clerical error. But in order to steal the election, they NEED to be able to keep a recount from occurring, because a recount would expose their attempted fraud to the light of day.
So they couldn't just give Prosser a couple hundred to put him barely in the lead by 40. They had to give him more than 7500 in order to get above the threshold for a free recount, so that the only way for a recount to happen would be if Kloppenburg ponies up the money for a state-wide recount, which could be expensive. Granted, all of us in WI would be happy to donate to a potential recount effort if it gets to that point, but the resolve of the Kloppenburg camp remains to be seen.
When the Republicans have declared victory starting tomorrow, they will use the full power of their media empire to pressure KloJo to concede instead of paying for a recount. They'll say she's a sore loser if she pushes for a recount outside of the .5% margin. They'll say the gap is so wide that a recount couldn't possibly swing enough votes her way, so she shouldn't waste the time of election workers. They'll say she's just further trying to divide the people of WI. They will do EVERYTHING they can to make sure NO ONE checks the paper trail. Because the paper trail will be the nail in their coffin.
We must not let them succeed in this attempted fraud.
It is NOT a coincidence that Prosser didn't get +300 votes or +1000, it had to be +7500 or more in order for the fraud to work. +7400 just wouldn't have been enough.
Why did the GOP aim for the .5% mark?
In WI we know that an election that is within 200ish votes deserves to have a careful examination of every ballot - whichever side is ahead. We have a sense of fairness here. While technically the losing side would have to request a recount if under .5%, it's understood that no one would be accusing said candidate of having sour grapes or being a sore loser if they requested it in an election determined by ~200 votes out of 1.5 million.
But it's different when there's a 7500 vote difference, it breaks that psychological barrier that it's not close enough for a critical re-examination as the likelihood of overcoming such a deficit would be unlikely. When the candidate has to pony up their own cash because the state considers a recount of that wide of a margin to be frivolous, public opinion changes.
And you KNOW Fox News and Rush will be hammering home this meme: She's pursuing a frivolous recount and dividing the state, sour grapes, sore loser, don't be Al Gore, etc etc. The GOP is acutely aware of this psychological barrier, which is why they went for +7500 instead of +7400.
Great new diary about the criminal clerk from Walkersha county.
And it turns out she's lying when she says Microsoft Access didn't save when she closed the file. See this diary for more info
Updated by Cieran at Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 07:10 PM PDT
Statement from JoAnne Kloppenburg campaign manager Melissa Mulliken:
"Wisconsin voters as well as the Kloppenburg for Justice Campaign deserve a full explanation of how and why these 14,000 votes from an entire City were missed. To that end, we will be filing open records requests for all relevant documentation related to the reporting of election results in Waukesha County, as well as to the discovery and reporting of the errors announced by the County. We are confident that election officials in Waukesha County will fulfill these requests as quickly as possible so that both our campaign and the people of Wisconsin can fully understand what happened and why. Just as Assistant Attorney General Kloppenburg has run to restore confidence in the court, Wisconsin residents also deserve to have full confidence in election results."
Updated by Cieran at Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 07:41 PM PDT
Statement from state Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D):
"It stretches the bounds of credibility to think that over 14,300 votes were somehow 'overlooked' until two days after the election.
Based on the partisan, political history of Ms. Nickolaus and the serious concerns that have been raised, by other Waukesha County officials, about the quality of her election administration and the possibility for fraud, an independent investigation of her conduct and the county's election results is not just warranted but urgently demanded to protect the integrity of our electoral system in Wisconsin."
The group Citizen Action of Wisconsin is calling for an immediate federal investigation and impoundment of all computer equipment, ballots, and other relevant evidence needed to verify a fair vote count in Waukesha County.
“Given the shocking character of this afternoon’s revelations, and its tremendous importance for the perceived integrity of Wisconsin’s governmental institutions, it is absolutely essential that there be a full investigation which is so beyond reproach that all Wisconsin citizens can have faith in the validity of the outcome,” said Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action. “In the current political climate in Wisconsin, only an investigation by a U.S. Attorney can be seen by all citizens of the state as independent and above politics."