• WisPolitics


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

 12:35 PM 

Kloppenburg says recount should serve as a "wake-up call" to fix election system

JoAnne Kloppenburg's campaign is sending a letter to the Government Accountability Board summarizing the "anomalies, irregularities and in some cases unexplained mysteries" discovered during the recount process.

Kloppenburg, an assistant attorney general in the state Department of Justice, conceded today to incumbent Justice David Prosser following an eight-week recount of the April 5 election. Recount results showed Kloppenburg gained about 300 votes from the original canvass, but still fell more than 7,000 votes short of Prosser's total.

Kloppenburg called Prosser to concede the election prior to the 11 a.m. news conference. (Listen to audio of the new conference here.)

Kloppenburg defended her decision to seek a taxpayer-financed recount due to the irregularities and anomalies it uncovered.

"This recount should serve as a wake-up call to improve Wisconsin's election processes," she said.

Kloppenburg noted that votes were found to be miscounted in every county, more than 150 ballot bags were found to be torn, open or unsealed. She particularly trained her concerns to problems in Waukesha County, where the elections clerk divulged two days after the election that 14,000 votes from the city of Brookfield were not counted, swinging the vote total to Prosser's favor.

"Waukesha County had twice as many torn, open or unsealed bags as every other county in the state combined," she said. "In many cases municipal clerks in Waukesha testifed the bags weren't torn when they left cities, towns and villages so the security breaches occurred sometime when the bags were in Waukesha County's custody."

Kloppenburg is calling on the GAB to take steps to improve security, accountability and transparency in the election process. More resources and training are needed for clerks and election volunteers, she said.

Despite the irregularities, Kloppenburg said she decided not to pursue legal remedies to overturn the election because the defects in the process would not overcome the steep standards set in Wisconsin election laws.

"Based on the record established in this recount and based on Wisconsin law, the will of the electors has been determined," she said. "It is time to learn from this recount, fix the problems it uncovered and ensure that future elections are different."

-- By Greg Bump

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