Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg declared victory on election night when preliminary, unofficial returns put her 204 votes ahead of Justice David Prosser. Fifteen days later, she sought a statewide recount after the official county-by-county returns showed her trailing by more than 7,300 votes out of 1.5 million cast.
In explaining her decision, Kloppenburg told reporters that a recount may not get her over the top, but would shine a light on “an election that right now seems to so many people to be suspect.” She also went on the offensive, raising questions about the legitimacy of the vote count around the state. “There are legitimate and widespread anomalies,” said Kloppenburg, a state Justice Department attorney, “and widespread questions about the conduct of this election, most visibly in Waukesha County, but also in counties around the state.”
The Waukesha County problems are well known: A vote-tallying glitch belatedly boosted Prosser’s total in the official count by almost 7,600. County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, a Republican in a GOP stronghold, didn’t report her error for more than a day after the election.
Given the outrage over the Waukesha incident, Kloppenburg seems on solid ground suggesting that there are “widespread questions” about the election.
But are there “widespread anomalies” in the statewide count? That’s a much different claim and one we can check.