I’m still mulling over the recent Wisconsin election in general and the actions of Waukesha County’s County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus in particular. She was the one who forgot to record votes that would have made her former boss, Justice David Prosser, the winner in a hotly contested election.
After my first report on this strange set of circumstances, data surfaced to show that the missing city’s data had been reported earlier by the city itself. The numbers Nickolaus reported were an exact match. So it doesn’t look like anyone made up the numbers for the missing town’s results in Brookfield. And then there was the stamp of approval from Democratic Party member Ramona Kitzinger who said the numbers “jived” with what she had been shown.
Still, questions persist. Is Nickolaus the type to simply miss 14,000 votes? “She’s an excellent detail person,” State Sen. Joanne Huelsman, R-Waukesha, had said of Nickolaus in 2002. Huelsman had known Nickolaus from her work as a legislative staffer involved in statewide legislative redistricting.
Some activists have privately (and publicly) expressed concerns that the vote was padded elsewhere in the County to give the Republican the needed victory – not just a win, but a win big enough not to trigger an automatic recount. Then, as the theory goes, the County Clerk went looking for a city with the needed number of votes to explain the suddenly increased vote total. Brookfield had the right total.
This starts to sound like a crazy conspiracy theory. And frankly, I was about to dismiss it myself, until I found out that Ms. Nickolaus had lost and found votes in her database once before in an eerily similar way.