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Democratic Party Chair Calls on Clerk to Resign

Waukesha County Democratic Party Chairman Victor Weers on Tuesday said County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus should resign immediately due to her lack of transparency, accuracy on election reporting.

The Waukesha County Democratic Party on Tuesday called on Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus to resign, saying she has failed to be transparent and trustworthy in her handling of election results.

Nickolaus' office staff said she plans a response this afternoon but did not know when or how that response will be delivered. It is also unknown the content of Nickolaus' response.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the party's chairman Victor Weers said Nickolaus had "willfully ignored pleas to repair her broken reporting process in an open and technologically reliable way.

"Reporting of votes must be as transparent and secure as possible so that the public feels good that their vote will count," Weers said. "Ms. Nickolaus has consistently ignored this environment."

Weers called a 7,500 vote-change in the county's totals for the state Supreme Court race a "debacle" that "severely diminished" the public's confidence in election results.

"We must have a county clerk that we can trust to do this important work of the people with competence, security and openness," Weer wrote. "Waukesha must have a new county clerk now."

Nickolaus, who at a press conference Thursday offered a tearful apology of her election night reporting error, was not available for comment Tuesday morning. But an employee in her office said Nickolaus planned to respond later Tuesday.

Weers' call for Nickolaus' resignation came a day after a statement was issued by Ramona Kitzinger, the Democratic member of the Waukesha County Board of Canvassers, who at the press conference said the county's revised numbers "jibed."

Kitzinger's statement on Monday she said felt misled by the county clerk about the cause and impact of the Brookfield votes recorded in the state Supreme Court race.

"In retrospect, it seems both shocking and somewhat appalling there was no mention of discovery of this 15,000 'human error' that ultimately had the potential to tip the balance of an entire statewide election," Kitzinger said in a statement. "How is this possible?"

Kitzinger did not return a call for comment. Weers, who lives in Brookfield, confirmed the statement posted on the Democratic party's web site was indeed from Kitzinger.

Kitzinger said it was not until after the revised vote tallies were certified — adding 14,315 votes for Brookfield — and just before a press conference, that Nickolaus told her that she had failed to include the Brookfield votes in her election night tally released to AP.

Kitzinger said shortly before the press conference, Nickolaus "showed us different tapes where numbers seemed to add up, though I have no idea where the numbers were coming from. I was not told of the magnitude of this error, just that she had made one. I was then instructed that I would not say anything at the press conference, and was actually surprised when I was asked questions by reporters."

Kitzinger's statement continued:

"The reason I offer this explanation is that, with the enormous amount of attention this has received over the weekend, many people are offering my statements at the press conference that the 'numbers jibed' as validation they are correct and I can vouch for their accuracy.
"As I told Kathy when I was called into the room — I am 80 years old and I don’t understand anything about computers. I don’t know where the numbers Kathy was showing me ultimately came from, but they seemed to add up.
"I am still very, very confused about why the canvass was finalized before I was informed of the Brookfield error and it wasn’t even until the press conference was happening that I learned it was this enormous mistake that could swing the whole election.
"I was never shown anything that would verify Kathy’s statement about the missing vote, and with how events unfolded and people citing me as an authority on this now, I feel like I must speak up."

Kitzinger also said in her statement that the canvass typically is held at 9 a.m. on Thursday — two days after the election. But she said she received a voice message from someone in the county clerk's office on Tuesday night, election night, notifying her the canvass would start on Wednesday.

Nickolaus has said that she discovered on Wednesday that she had failed to include any City of Brookfield votes in her election night tally released to AP. Brookfield Patch had obtained from the city clerk on election night and posted them in a story and chart about four hours after the polls closed. 

But Nickolaus did not notify the state Government Accountability Board, which oversees statewide elections, the Supreme Court candidates, or the City of Brookfield city clerk.  

Kitzinger said in her statement that Nickolaus also did not say anything to the Board of Canvassers until the board reviewed Brookfield's vote tally on Thursday.

At the press conference, Kitzinger told the media she had no objections to the revised results.

"We went over everything and made sure all the numbers jibed up and they did," Kitzinger said at the press conference.

Adding the city's 14,315 votes gave incumbent Justice David — enough to likely make him the election winner. Challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg had declared victory on election night, with a 200-vote margin over Prosser.

State elections officials were reviewing the Waukesha County canvass due to the large change in result and impact on state Supreme Court race.

Lyle Ruble April 13, 2011 at 09:45 PM
@Payton...OMG!!! Of course I'm kidding! My ride is 9 years old with 123,000 miles and goes in for maintenance every other month for something.
C T April 13, 2011 at 09:47 PM
@Lyle Who is Jeff Wagner?
Tiffany April 14, 2011 at 01:30 PM
Yes, who is Jeff Wagner Lyle???
bescher April 14, 2011 at 01:59 PM
Jeff Wagner is a Milwaukee conservative talk show host. he is on 920 I believe. I only catch him on rare occasions. He is a good guy and good conservative
John Galt of Muskego April 14, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Has anyone else notices that on the other thread about BROWNLOW CAMPAIGN EVENT questions were posed to the treasurer of his campaign by me and absolutely no answers for 2 days now? I'm accusing Jim Brownlow of being a far-left wing nut who was actually trying to garner signature outside my polling place to recall Lazich--and his Treasurer doesn't respond....? He should release a statement: "Jim Brownlow vows to bring ethics and transparency to the 83rd Assembly Seat." For any Conservatives on this thread, I urge you to pop over there and check it out--pretty funny stuff.
John Galt of Muskego April 14, 2011 at 04:11 PM
@Earl, you made it through your whole rant without saying "the fact is", well done, good sir. I see your race card was taken very seriously, LOL.
John Galt of Muskego April 14, 2011 at 05:01 PM
So, if I have this correct, the left is calling Kathy N a bumbling fool but is also accusing her of being the evil genius who put the poor 80 yr old Dem in the place she needed to be in order for the GOP to steal the election? Why do none of these lefties point out that the Patch itself in Brookfield posted the election results the night of the election? Does the left point out that Ramona K's most recent statement sure looks like a few lawyers wrote it for her? Is the right posting Ramona's address online now and trying to destroy her now that she is changing her tune? And really, the best you can do for Ramona is the "Uncle Leo From Seinfeld" defense---"I'm old and confused." She didn't sound very confused last week--too bad the left didn't get to her before the press conference. Lastly, have any of you conspiracy theorists actually looked as the Waukesha County numbers--including what the Patch posed on election night?
Diane April 14, 2011 at 05:17 PM
@ John You are correct in your statements above. I think this blog has pretty much circled around and around and around - nothing really new. I did see this morning at JSonline that the Democrats are pushing for an investigation - still. I am anxious to hear the Milwaukee numbers when their canvas is complete.
Lyle Ruble April 14, 2011 at 06:26 PM
@John Galt and Diane... Hey, this is a Waukesha problem and I think the residents of Waukesha County need to take care of it. The last I heard the Dems were asking for an investigation of the County Clerk's 2006 irregularities which involved 17,000 votes. People need to acknowledge that Prosser won and move on.
Diane April 14, 2011 at 06:40 PM
@ Lyle and the reason for an investigation of 2006.... why? Even more stupid - er !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) PROSSER HAS THE MAJORITY OF THE VOTES! I agree - move on!
John Galt of Muskego April 14, 2011 at 06:48 PM
@Lyle. My comments are directed at the wing-nuts on the left who are now forarding grand theories of conspiracy and klandestine meetings etc. The right is WAY beyond just letting it go and moving on--and my guess is you will see a change in the Waukesha County Clerk's Office when things slow down.
Lyle Ruble April 14, 2011 at 07:17 PM
@John Galt...When is she up for re-election? If it's the General Election in 2012, then I don't expect anything to happen until then. I want to get off of this so we can start on Paul Ryan's Budget, Obama's Deficit Proposal and Walker's Executive Budget. Unfortunately no one in the local Patch has run any articles on the three.
Diane April 14, 2011 at 07:19 PM
@ Lyle just saw your question to John... I saw 18 months somewhere so that would be 2012? Do you think PROSSER will be sworn in yet?!?!?!??! I think I would like to be there!
Lyle Ruble April 14, 2011 at 07:27 PM
@Diane... I think Justice Prosser will be safely installed by then. I'll let you have my tickets to watch him sworn in. With the relationship between the Chief Justice and Justice Prosser; there may be more swearing than you're prepared for. It could be rated PG-17.
Randy1949 April 14, 2011 at 07:30 PM
She's one or the other, John. And since elections are serious business, it wouldn't hurt to have someone check Kathy Nickolaus's personal computer to see if she's being truthful about somehow either not saving or forgetting to enter the numbers from Brookfield. My computer has an external hard drive with a version of every file on my computer the way it was on election night, even though they might have changed the next day. Shouldn't Ms. Nickolaus's?
C T April 14, 2011 at 07:33 PM
According to an article from a Brookfield paper, her computer was checked as part of the investigation. NO problems were reported and the numbers were the same as those reported from the election.
Diane April 14, 2011 at 07:34 PM
@ Lyle LOL I think you are right!
Randy1949 April 14, 2011 at 07:42 PM
Link, C T?
C T April 14, 2011 at 07:44 PM
Trying to find it again...my browser bar deletes everything when I log off...
John Galt of Muskego April 14, 2011 at 07:56 PM
@Lyle. I can already predict what your side will say about Obama, Ryan, and Walker on the upcoming budget debates. The evil rich people and corporations will be protected by the brainwashed masses and the people like myself that aren't doing enough. The Angelic Obama will have a hard time saving the world because Halliburton just wants Grandma to sit in the gutter, eating bird feed. Those awful rich (who pay 80% + of the total tax burden now) are only interested in themselves and do nothing to advance Social Justice. Pelosi tried hard but Paul Ryan sigged his flying Great Danes, equipped with nuclear waste daisy cutters and lasers that shoot out of thier eyes at school children. Just when Biden woke up long enough to wink, point, and save the day, deleterious Chris Christie jumped out of a Blackwater van and smothered him in a huge pile of big oil money. The whole thing, like 9/11, will have been plotted and choreographed by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney. Al Gore, will leave one his many empty homes, take a private plane and a fleet of limos, to convince everyone that the whole issue can be solved with cap and trade--because global warming is the real problem............
bescher April 14, 2011 at 08:01 PM
Two things: Vickii McKenna said today that the left will drag this on and on until the elections. They will have recounts and than lawsuits and on and on. I believe her 100% John Galt (I love your name is your second home in Galt' Gulch CO) I agree with you aslo 100% but that is the left. All they can do is frighten people. Make people feel guilty and blame everyone except themselves
C T April 14, 2011 at 08:02 PM
Have you seen the price of bird food lately?
John Galt of Muskego April 14, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Of course, what we could always do is subsidize energy for those who cannot afford it, because it's all about the children, right? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQsIBtwUh6Q
Diane April 14, 2011 at 08:04 PM
@ C T re: bird food..... it is more than a gallon of gas? sorry.... just had to say it!
bescher April 14, 2011 at 08:07 PM
Judge Dismisses Suit Challenging Wis. Union Law MADISON, Wis. -- A judge has dismissed one of three lawsuits filed challenging Wisconsin's divisive law restricting collective bargaining rights. Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi on Thursday dismissed the lawsuit filed by Democratic Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk saying she does not have standing to bring the action. The judge says state law forbids an agency or arm of government like a county to challenge the constitutionality of state laws. You can read Judge Sumi's decision by clicking here. Another lawsuit brought by the Dane County district attorney remains. In that case, Sumi blocked enactment of the law earlier this month while she considers whether state open meetings law was violated in the process of passing the bill. A third lawsuit challenging the law pushed by Gov. Scott Walker has been brought by firefighters and other public workers.
John Galt of Muskego April 14, 2011 at 08:08 PM
Here's what I say to Libs on budget issues, try it with me: Breath in through nose, with mouth closed. Push air out of mouth through teeth while making soft "p" sound. Slightly bight lower lip with upper teeth while expelling air from mouth. End with "f" sound until all the air leaves mouth cavity.
Diane April 14, 2011 at 08:17 PM
@ bescher so is that one down, two to go?
bescher April 14, 2011 at 08:20 PM
Yes Which I thin k it good. Maybe Sumi realizes the error of her ways (NOT)
Lyle Ruble April 14, 2011 at 08:41 PM
@John Galt... You just about have it but Blackwater is now known as Xe.
Randy1949 April 14, 2011 at 08:52 PM
Thank you, John Galt. What we need to solve our problems is more serious, measured discourse like this.

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