State election officials have agreed to investigate alleged voting irregularities that date back five years in Waukesha County. The State Democratic Party asked for the probe, after a blogger noticed discrepancies on the Web site of County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus. The Daily Kos blog said the total number of votes for state office candidates did not match a listing of the number of ballots cast in each race.
In the 2006 attorney general’s race, Republican JB Van Hollen and Democrat Kathleen Falk were listed as having 17,000 more votes than the number of ballots cast – and the Democrats said the error might have cost Falk the election. When a similar discrepancy was found in last week’s State Supreme Court race, Nickolaus put a notation on her Web site. It said the number of ballots cast only included those counted by voting machines, and not ones that were hand-counted.
Director Kevin Kennedy of the state Government Accountability Board said his top priority is to determine the correct numbers in the Supreme Court race. But his investigators are also looking broader questions about Nickolaus and the way the votes are counted in Waukesha County. The state’s probe has lasted for most of the week.
Nickolaus admitted last week that she forgot to add 14,000 votes cast in Brookfield in her original Election Night totals. The mistake caused incumbent Justice David Prosser to take a 7,500 vote lead over JoAnne Kloppenburg – who had led by 204 votes after the Election Night tally.