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Monday, April 11, 2011

 1:36 PM 

Dem member of Waukesha County Canvass Board raises concerns over process

The 80-year-old Dem member of the Waukesha County Board of Canvass who said the "numbers jibed" last week after the clerk announced a 14,000-vote error raised concerns today about the process.

Ramona Kitzinger was widely quoted following a Thursday news conference in which Clerk Kathy Nickolaus blamed human error for failing to include votes from Brookfield in the tally she sent to the media on Election Day. Once those votes were added into the statewide totals, it swung the election dramatically to Justice David Prosser by some 7,000 votes.

A statement from Kitzinger was posted on the Waukesha County Dem Party's website this afternoon in which she said she was speaking up now because many had perceived her comments at Thursday's news conference as confirmation the numbers Nickolaus announced were valid and accurate.

At the news conference, she said, "We went over everything and made sure all the numbers jibed up and they did. Those numbers jibed up, and we're satisfied they're correct." She added, "I'm not going to stand here and tell you something that's not true."

Kitzinger said today there was no mention last week of the mistake while the canvass was conducted Wednesday and Thursday.

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

Once the canvass was complete, she was pulled into a meeting with Nickolaus and the GOP member of the canvass board where they were told of an upcoming news conference and the mistake, though not the magnitude. Nickolaus explained what happened and showed them different tapes "where the numbers seemed to add up, though I have no idea where the numbers were coming from." She also said she was instructed she would not say anything at the news conference.

She said she remains "very, very confused" as to why the canvass was finished before she was told of the Brookfield error and that she told Nickolaus when called into the meeting that she is 80 and doesn't "understand anything about computers."

"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," she said.

A county party spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Kitzinger did not immediately return a message left at a number listed for her in Waukesha County.

-- By JR Ross


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