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Friday, May 6, 2011

 3:57 PM 

Kloppenburg campaign contines to raise objections in Waukesha County

JoAnne Kloppenburg’s campaign today again raised objections to ballot bags that were not properly sealed, raising concerns about the integrity of those ballots.

The objections raised today pertained to bags containing Brookfield votes, and Bill Hotz, representing the Kloppenburg campaign, objecting to the first five bags to be counted. They showed holes along the top, on either side of the bags’ seals, along with some seals that were pulled apart.

In addition, the numbers on two of the bags did not match those on inspectors’ election night logs.

“The integrity of the ballot count is only as good as the integrity of condition of the bags,” he said.

The five bags in the second batch were much better sealed, but none of them had seal numbers, although the bag tag numbers did match the inspectors’ logs. Kloppenburg’s campaign asked that it be noted for the record that there was no evidence the bags were sealed.

But in each case, retired Circuit Court Judge Robert Mawdsley, who was brought in to oversee the recount, allowed the ballots to be counted.

Today’s objections continue a string of concerns that the Kloppenburg campaign has raised about the handling of the votes in Waukesha County.

As the ballot bags were examined, Mawdsley held up each one and described in detail the condition of the seal and the size of any openings along the top. Bags were opened along the bottom to remove ballots for the recount, leaving the condition of the tops intact.

“Because objections have been raised, we are preserving the evidence,” Mawdsley told WisPolitics.

Kloppenburg observer Eugene Barufkin said he hopes the recount will lead to statewide improvements in Election Day practices. In particular, he’d like to see ballots counted at each polling site before the vote and unused ballots accounted for afterward. He also said the recount has revealed a need for better training of poll workers.

A Prosser observer echoed the hope that the recount would reveal best practices from some communities that could be standardized, and said she is now inspired to become a poll worker. But a Prosser leader scolded her for talking to the media and she asked that her name not be used.

As of noon today, the GAB reported 81 percent of the state’s 3,602 reporting units had been counted, representing almost 1.2 million votes, about 77 percent of those cast in the Supreme Court race.

-- By Kay Nolan


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