One Wisconsin Now Press Release

April 11, 2011
Contact: Mike Browne
Phone: (608) 444-3483

More Than 10,000 Call for Van Hollen Bipartisan Investigation of Waukesha Vote

Madison -- More than 10,000 concerned Wisconsin citizens are calling for a bipartisan investigation by Attorney General JB Van Hollen into the actions of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus related to the changing vote totals in the State Supreme Court race between David Prosser and JoAnne Kloppenburg days after the election. One Wisconsin Now gathered these electronic petitions in less than 48 hours.

“Wisconsin is demanding an investigation to ensure our elections are fair and clean and transparent,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “The secrecy and history of past conduct by the Waukesha County Clerk requires Attorney General Van Hollen immediately convene a bipartisan investigation through his Election Integrity Task Force.”

One Wisconsin Now said it was concerned the Attorney General had yet to offer comment or direction, given the strong position Van Hollen took when it came to allegations people had voted improperly in Milwaukee in 2008. Van Hollen’s investigation, which also included the creation of the Election Integrity Task Force, produced less than 20 potentially-improper votes cast. A total of three million votes were cast in Wisconsin in the 2008 election.

“It raises serious concerns that Attorney General Van Hollen spent two years investigating voters predominately in Milwaukee County, while so far ignoring this action in Waukesha County,” said Ross. “The longer he remains silent, the more strongly it suggests his investigations are rooted in partisan politics instead of protecting the public trust.”

The Waukesha County Clerk has been criticized for waiting until two days after the Supreme Court election to announce she had found 14,000 votes from Waukesha County’s second-largest city she says were inadvertently unreported on election night. The Waukesha clerk, Kathy Nickolaus, is under scrutiny because of her data manipulation expertise and past complaints about her conduct, including:

  • Nickolaus dismissed an independent audit commissioned over concerns there are massive security threats in her current system. Nickolaus, who maintains a secret system for keeping public voting data, condescendingly laughed off the audit, drawing an irate reaction from the Waukesha County Board chair.
  • Nickolaus was an employee of the Assembly Republican Caucus when Prosser was the Republican Assembly speaker, and she was one of two database experts for Assembly Republicans, spending 13 years becoming one of the state’s leading partisan experts on manipulating voter data.
  • Nickolaus was in charge of developing a computer program that “averaged the performance of Republicans in all statewide races for the previous eight years in each ward and then averaged that information for each city, township, county and district.”
  • Nickolaus waited over 24 hours after the time she claimed she discovered the vote change before publicly reporting it. Two conservative media members reported the change prior to Nickolaus’s late afternoon announcement.
  • Nickolaus withheld critical information from the the Waukesha Board of Canvassers. One member says Nickolaus invited her to be at the press conference, but had not given her a full picture of the problem. Also, Nickolaus curiously demanded the canvass begin on Wednesday instead of Thursday, and that the problem with the more than 14,000 additional votes were never brought up at the Wednesday or Thursday canvass by Nickolaus.

The Wisconsin Attorney General has the authority to seek whatever legal or equitable relief that may be appropriate in order to compel compliance with the state’s election laws. Wis. Stat. ยง 5.07.

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.