City of Brookfield Recount Completed

After a meticulous hand recount, Prosser gained three additional votes and Kloppenburg gained one more vote from City of Brookfield voters.

"Drum roll, please."

Those were the words uttered as elections consultant Barb Hansen read aloud the vote tally for the final polling ward for the City of Brookfield.

And with that, at 6:19 p.m. Saturday, volunteer tabulators finished the meticulous three-day hand recount of the more than 14,000 votes cast by City of Brookfield voters for the state Supreme Court race on April 5. 

Its finish is just the beginning for the Waukesha County Board of Canvassers, who still have about 70% of the county's votes to recount, after 10 days of work including two consecutive Saturdays. That's in stark contrast to 67 other counties that have finished their recounts, and the four others that expect to be complete by Monday, leaving Waukesha alone in the spotlight.

But it was a milestone for tabulators because much scrutiny has been on the City of Brookfield's votes ever since Waukesha County two days after the election to announce a stunner: that in the razor-thin high court race in which Assistant State Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg had declared victory with a 200-vote margin out of 1.5 million cast, an entire city's votes had not been included in the statewide tally.

A city with 14,315 votes, about 76 percent of which went to the other candidate, the conservative incumbent, Justice David Prosser Jr. 

The sudden "discovery" of votes that had not been previously reported — coming from one of the most conservative municipalities in one of the most conservative counties — had many crying foul. The votes, however, had been reported in a detailed ward-by-ward breakdown in a Brookfield Patch story . 

But after the three-day hand recount, the city's votes were for the most part upheld as accurate. The recount netted three additional votes for Prosser and one additional vote for Kloppenburg, for a final city margin of 10,862 to 3,457, according to Ellen Nowak, chief of staff for Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.

The city's recount was not without disputes and controversy. It is yet unclear whether Kloppenburg will challenge any of the votes in court, such as more the more than 1,500 votes cast in the high court race by voters in the city's Wards 1, 2 and 3.

Those ballots were inside post-election and found partially open during the recount. Kloppenburg campaign representatives objected to the bags being opened and votes counted due to questions about the ballots' security and potential tampering.

But retired Waukesha County Circuit Judge Robert Mawdsley, appointed to oversee the recount in lieu of Nickolaus, allowed their recount, saying it would be up another court to decide, should it be challenged in court.

 On Monday morning, Waukesha County Corporation Counsel Tom Farley will explain why more time is needed as the state Government Accountability Board asks a Dane County judge to extend the May 9 deadline for finishing the historic statewide recount.

And back in Waukesha, the recount will move to the cafeteria in the Administration Building, a much larger room than the first-floor conference room where it has been held since April 27. Double the number of tabulators will be on hand to try to speed up the county's recount, while still undergoing a more detailed process than many counties, recorded for posterity by a court reporter hired by the county.

Lyle Ruble May 08, 2011 at 08:11 PM
@AcornCounter & Luvtoroam...I want to remind you that just because you believe something, doesn't necessarily make it true. Only about 25% out in conservative land vote for anyone other than the conservative candidate. And, cheating through the courts; that's laughable. I would rather have the due process anyday than the court of public opinion. Salem Witch Trials come to mind and the Spanish Inquisition.
AcornCounter May 08, 2011 at 10:58 PM
Ruble pile should realize that all of these judges start out as political hacks. To trust one's fate to them and their sponsors is a worse fate than than a witch trial.
Lyle Ruble May 08, 2011 at 11:10 PM
@AcornCounter...C'mon, quit being so emotive. If you were in the position where you needed to go to court, Wouldn't you want due process? This is preisely why we have three branches of government to maintain checks and balance. Democray is the messiest form of government, but so far I am unaware of anything better.
Sierra Nolan May 08, 2011 at 11:31 PM
Point is, Kloppenburg is neither lying, cheating nor doing anything illegal THAT PROSSER was absolutely planning to do himself prior to the 14,000 votes showing up, as evidenced by him hiring the best recount attorney in the country. When Kloppenburg was declared the winner, republicans immediately began talking recount and some of my democratic friends said exactly what you guys are saying now: sore losers, cheaters, liars, can't take the truth, etc. But I said: Prosser owes it to his supporters to ask for the recount, it's legal, it's proper in wins under .5% and we'd do the same thing. As in football, we expect both sides to pull out every stop to win. Every legal stop to win. After the game, the players shake hands and go home. Let's get back to some sportsman like conduct here, folks.
Luvtoroam May 08, 2011 at 11:39 PM
Sierra, where have you been? When Kloppenburg declared herself winner it was with a paltry 200+ UNofficial lead. Most would expect a recount in such a close race where so many turned out to vote. Your Democratic friends are sadly clueless and apparently like to re-write history. Kloppenburg was asked at her first press conference (where she declared herself the winner-obviously at the behest of the handlers that are spoon feeding her what to say and do), why she was claiming victory at such a junction-small margin and UNofficial count. She was relishing the moment and thanking Prosser for his years of service. The margin was not 7000+ votes! It would appear the only poor sport here is Kloppenburg.
Randy1949 May 08, 2011 at 11:50 PM
@Luvtoroam . . . I think Sierra has been reading the papers and remembering her history. I *cough* recall a candidate insisting he'd won on the basis of a 327 lead and moving heaven and earth in the courts to stop a hand recount. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0884144.html There was even outrage over the fact that the other candidate had withdrawn his concession.
MJM May 09, 2011 at 01:00 AM
New York Times A comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots from last year's presidential election reveals that George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward. Contrary to what many partisans of former Vice President Al Gore have charged, the United States Supreme Court did not award an election to Mr. Bush that otherwise would have been won by Mr. Gore. A close examination of the ballots found that Mr. Bush would have retained a slender margin over Mr. Gore if the Florida court's order to recount more than 43,000 ballots had not been reversed by the United States Supreme Court.
MJM May 09, 2011 at 01:04 AM
This was for Sierra Nolan. My previous post was shortened. I saved this history from the New York Times because it is from a source that couldn't stand President Bush. This is from the Washington Post. These articles were after multiple recounts by new organizations. Washington Post In all likelihood, George W. Bush still would have won Florida and the presidency last year if either of two limited recounts – one requested by Al Gore, the other ordered by the Florida Supreme Court – had been completed, Using the most inclusive standards, Bush actually gained more votes than Gore -- about 300 net -- from the examination of the undervote ballots
the tree May 09, 2011 at 01:25 AM
MJM, Thank you for posting the correct information. When Nolan said "Al Gore won the popular vote in FL...", I stopped reading. When the beginning of the first sentence is inaccurate, there is little chance that the rest of the post will be anything but useless drivel.
AcornCounter May 09, 2011 at 02:06 AM
If you recall the famous Florida recount, Gore only wanted selective recounts in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties - all counties he won by 70%. He was merely trying to mine more votes. The US Supreme Court ended selective recounts. Later, the New York Times, CNN, and USA Today did a complete statewide recount that confirmed the Bush win by a wider margin. Recounts always give the county and state leaders a wider margin.
Sierra Nolan May 09, 2011 at 02:14 AM
Selective quoting. Nice: your expert consortium was only speaking to those 43,000 votes. If you read down the page: "But the consortium, looking at a broader group of rejected ballots than those covered in the court decisions, 175,010 in all, found that Mr. Gore might have won if the courts had ordered a full statewide recount of all the rejected ballots. This also assumes that county canvassing boards would have reached the same conclusions about the disputed ballots that the consortium's independent observers did. The findings indicate that Mr. Gore might have eked out a victory if he had pursued in court a course like the one he publicly advocated when he called on the state to ''count all the votes.''
Randy1949 May 09, 2011 at 02:27 AM
Thank you. That is the information I found too. Just remember who was so frantic to stop the recount.
Sierra Nolan May 09, 2011 at 02:42 AM
At any rate, your opinion about 200 vote lead or 7,000 vote lead is irrelevant. Where I've been is in the state of Wisconsin where under .5% allows for a state paid recount. Your paltry '200' and my fraudulent '7,000' means nothing. It's the law: your opinion as to it's validity really doesn't matter.
Sierra Nolan May 09, 2011 at 03:00 AM
I took out all reference to the gore/bush election so you can stand it. Nuns' votes submitted without the witness signatures: not admissible, county clerks' threw these out themselves upon discovering the error in the recount, not Kloppenburg as has been widely reported; 5 of 6 Brookfield bags found, not just slightly torn or ripped, but wide open: ballot bags are required by law to be properly sealed and tagged. If you want to be upset with someone, be upset with the clerks who ran such sloppy elections as to put their constituents votes in jeopardy in the first place. Is it fair that a voter gets silenced because government failed to process the election correctly? Hell no, but we had these election procedures established long before this election. Do I think those nuns voted that way? Sure I do, but if my car breaks down on the way to the polls on election night, no one let's me vote the next day because I say I intended to. If you don't like the procedures, go lobby to change them. But in the current game, those ballots are not legally admissible. You don't trust us, we don't trust you. That's why we have a chain of custody to ensure the authenticity of the ballots. That chain was breached & with the seals broken, you cannot guarantee the authenticity of those ballots. We don't run our elections on faith and goodwill. That's why we have the procedures in the first place.
Sierra Nolan May 09, 2011 at 03:41 AM
And I love the "multiple recounts" as evidence: now with 30% more truth! Impressive! They all quoted the same study. The Times' poor opinion of Bush, however, came later in his presidency. That study was quoted Nov. 2001, 2 months after 9/11 when only a select few realized what a complete boob he was (hint hint, liberals don't think the Times is all that liberal a source BECAUSE of their cheerleading for president Bush after 9/11 through the lead-up to the Iraq War). And for every article you can quote, I can quote another: "Because the comforting, widely publicized, Bush-ratifying spin given to the recent media recount by the New York Times(and the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post) has been that—as the Times' lede confidently put it—"George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward."(The Times' front-page headline was "Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast ...") We now know, thanks to the Sentinel, that this Times take (and the somewhat more hedged ledes in the Journal and Post) is thoroughly bogus—unfounded and inaccurate. If the recount had gone forward Judge Lewis might well have counted the overvotes in which case Gore might well have won." http://www.slate.com/id/2058603/ But, I made a mistake rehashing old news, sorry. Lets stick to present day WI. We've got laws, lets follow them. Easy.
Michael Wade May 09, 2011 at 07:20 AM
Bag tampering may cause court delays (to make results look weak).
hughglass May 09, 2011 at 11:31 AM
I'm still waiting for any democrat to explain to me why a 204 vote margin in the early returns reported by the AP (Uncertified) was enough for Floppy to declare victory but a 7000 vote margin by Prosser in the final GAB tally wasn't. Crickets chirping.
Lyle Ruble May 09, 2011 at 11:56 AM
@hughglass...I think you're going to be waiting into eternity if you expect to get an answer why Kloppenburg declared victory on a 200+ vote margin. If you have been following you would realize that Prosser and Kloppenburg were both assembling teams for a recount even before the missing Brookfield ballots were found. If the missing ballots hadn't been found, then it would Prosser demanding a recount. It doesn't matter sinee the margin between the two was under .5%, allowing either to ask for a hand count. Now you know the frustration the Democrats felt after the Florida debacle. Recounts may become the chic thing this year with at least recall elections coming up. If it's the Republican's ask for the recounts, we'll see what tune your singing them.
Lyle Ruble May 09, 2011 at 12:00 PM
@Sierra Nolan...I appreciate your posts on this string. At times it takes courage to call out people on all the irrational nonsense they are spewing. I look forward to you continuing to put forth rational arguments. Keep it up my friend.
the tree May 09, 2011 at 01:30 PM
Lyle, missing ballots? "before the missing Brookfield ballots were found. If the missing ballots hadn't been found, " Quite a leap there buddy. Who said, "Repeat a lie often enough......"
kloopykloopy May 09, 2011 at 07:26 PM
The reason kloopy claimed victory is that they thought all the votes were in, then 2 precincts in liberal err madison and a few in milwaukee posted there numbers just enough to win ... Then Pow all the votes were posted by the AP for Brookfield. Winner Prosser . If the AP had there numbers correct kloopy would have had just enough votes to cover the 7000.
MJM May 09, 2011 at 07:39 PM
Did the Kloppenburg people at the recount stand up for the nuns....the answer in every article I can find is no...only the Prosser people stood up for "every vote should count." Errors of omission are just as serious as errors of commission.
MJM May 09, 2011 at 07:44 PM
I believe that candidates declare victory first to gain an edge in the media and hope that the media carries the story in your direction for a number or reasons. I believe we are going to have "rolling recounts" beginning in July and continuing through the next year. With Wisconsin's current law you don't need a reason to recall someone. Everytime a person reaches one year in office, someone is going to start a recall petition. Won't all these Democrats be surprised next year when everyone on their side finds recall petitions being circulated against them. Chaos will rain (pun intended) until Wisconsin fixes its crazy system.
Lyle Ruble May 09, 2011 at 08:26 PM
@MJM...It's not an easy task to garner 25% of the electorate's signatures, given the high turnout during the last gubernatorial election. I would hate to see us give up the recall, because its a needed do over when it becomes obvious that the electorate has made a major error. If Walker would have come out with his plan before the election, then it would be unlikely he would have been elected. The only other recall I foresee next year is a move to recall the governor.
Rick May 09, 2011 at 09:55 PM
I have a few questions of my own.. What does Gore/Bush election of 2000 with Kloppenburg/Prosser? Nothing, so lets drop that crap. What votes were "Found"? None... they were simply not reported to the AP on election night. Why did she wait till Thursday to own up to the error? Pretty simple, if you screw up that big who wouldn't want to be sure that there were not other big mistakes? Use some common sense. As far as would have Prossor recounted with a vote difference of 204? Of course he would have. However even if the difference was of less that 1,000 votes out of 1.5 million for either candidate, I dont think i would blame them for wanting a recount. However 7,000+ seems pretty insurmountable even if it is 0.488%. So I still come back to the why? @Lyle and @MM... I agree with Lyle... it is much easier to get the signatures for a recall that to actually be successful with the recall election. There are 9 recall elections coming up... 3 Dems and 6 GOP. I would be surprised to see more that one seat flip either way. Not that it is likely, but wouldn't the irony be wonderful if it was a Dem seat that was lost, giving the GOP a 20 to 13 margin in the senate? Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. :)
MJM May 09, 2011 at 10:02 PM
You are correct. Maybe I should have been clearer. I think there will be many recall petitions circulating and those will be in the news, successful or not. For those that are successful, there will be elections. I believe some of these elections will be close....thus the demand for recounts. I cannot predict the current recall elections...my guess would be that there will be losses on both sides. I can predict that many who were just elected will be facing recall petition gathering next year....on both sides of the aisle.
Lyle Ruble May 09, 2011 at 10:13 PM
@Rick... There is no connection between Gore/Bush Florida recounts and Prosser/Kloppenburg. As many have pointed out, the votes were not found. It was the Waukesha County Clerk not including Brookfield's votes in the early unofficial return. I don't think we'll know for awhile why Kloppenburg has not ceded defeat. My own feeling is that if they throw out any of the bags of ballots it won't change the outcome. Although there were 14000 Brookfield votes, it they disqualify whole bags, they would be disqualifying Kloppenburg votes also.
Craig May 11, 2011 at 01:49 PM
Has anyone seen the article about all the anomolies in Dane county that match what occured in Waukesha county. Seems if you challenge the Waukesha ballots the Dane county ones should get as much scrutiny. It appears we need new practices/procedures all over the state not just in counties we want to pick and choose. I doubt things are as evil and fishy as the Kloppenburg camp is making them out to be. Easy to make that conclusion if you limit what you actually look at.
MJM May 11, 2011 at 02:00 PM
If any county should be investigated it is Dane County. I do not know why the Prosser campaign is not making a bigger stink....unless they don't want to seem to be from the same ilk as the Kloppenburg camp. Read the official Dane County minutes..especially the parts of how who groups of mostly Prosser ballots were not placed in the bags and only found later. http://gab.wi.gov/sites/default/files/recount/dane_county_recount_minutes_pdf_14565.pdf
Keith Best May 11, 2011 at 02:42 PM
At this point, showing class and graciousness, Kloppenburg should concede. She has neither so it won't happen. She will do what liberals always do...take it to the courts and hope for a liberal judge.


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