KausFiles

Opposite of a smoking gun in Wisconsin

Mickey Kaus Columnist

What’s the opposite of a smoking gun? Waukesha County clerk Kathy Nickolaus, a Republican, is being tacitly accused by some Democrats of “finding” enough ballots to put incumbent union-opposed state Supreme Court justice David Prosser into the lead. Nickolaus dramatically announced on Thursday that Prosser had actually received 10,859 votes from the city of Brookfield, more than 7,500 more than had been reported in unofficial counts. She said she had just accidentally failed to save Brookfield’s total on her computer and as a result hadn’t included it in the result she sent to the state.

Is she telling the truth? Well, the Brookfield Patch site notes that it reported exactly that vote total for Prosser on election night (presumably after getting the info from the clerk’s office). The total was also posted on the city’s web site, Patch says. This is powerful evidence–pretty close to proof, I’d think–that Nickolaus did not make up the vote totals later, and tends to confirm her whole story (the same way contemporaneous newspaper accounts of Obama’s Hawaii birth tend to contradict “birther” theories). … Sorry, SEIU! I’d be paranoid too. … [Thanks to alert commenter Scrutineer]

Update: The new turnout totals for Brookfield turn out to not be out of line with previous elections or other counties. They were out of line before the new totals were announced. … See also Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight and Mark Blumenthal at HuffPo,  who adds a short history of similar errors (not all of which look as innocent). …