Another election, another controversy over the performance of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus. Nickolaus may have done her re-election campaign no favors Tuesday night when her plans to post timely election results online and update them periodically for the public failed. Citizens checking for results online were left in the dark for hours after voting ended, while reporters and data collectors for election reporting services resorted to tabulating contested races from yards of paper tapes hanging on walls around a meeting room. The process was akin to reading a long grocery receipt where, in some cases, the tape stretched down the wall and onto the floor in a heap. Problems with Nickolaus’ reporting system were evident soon after the earliest municipal clerks delivered, in person as she required, the voting machine memory packs and paper tapes showing vote totals. When Nickolaus’ staff tried to upload results from the memory cards into the county clerk’s reporting program, it wouldn’t work. “We were shocked,” she said Wednesday, noting that she and her staff had tested the reporting program “many times.”
As a result, Tuesday night and into the wee hours of Wednesday, her staff manually entered every vote total for every candidate in every race and every municipality by hand, and then proofed them against the voting machine tapes before posting totals online. She described the process of online posting as being “slower than we had anticipated.” It took nearly six hours after polls closed before somewhat complete results were posted. County Board races were posted at 2:21 a.m. Wednesday. Nearly complete presidential totals in the county were posted about 2 a.m., about five hours after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was declared a winner by most major news outlets.
Contrast that with Ozaukee County, where local clerks transmitted results digitally by modem to the county clerk and a complete breakdown of results was posted online by 10:30 p.m. Racine County’s results were online, with interim updates, by about midnight. “It sure wasn’t what we expected,” Nickolaus said, adding that the posting of paper tapes was part of an approved procedure from the Government Accountability Board. The posting room was the same one that hosted Nickolaus’ notorious news conference a year ago about errors she made in reporting results of the contentious and close April 2011 Supreme Court contest.
Full Article: More election night problems in Waukesha – JSOnline.