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Monday, May 9, 2011

 9:25 AM 

Waukesha County gets recount deadline extended

Dane County Judge Richard Niess this morning extended until May 26 the deadline for Waukesha County to complete its recount of the state Supreme Court election.

Waukesha County Corporation Counsel Tom Farley told the court the recount is about one-third finished in the county.

"We thought that the 26th would be a good target date and we certainly hope we can do that faster," Farley said. "We're doing our best, we think."

The Government Accountability Board announced late Friday that the other 71 counties are expected to finish the recount by the end of business today. Farley said the Waukesha County canvass board will move to a larger room today and include more counters in an effort to speed up the process.

Attorneys for incumbent Justice David Prosser expressed some concerns that delaying the recount more than necessary increases the likelihood that Prosser's term would expire before a potential judicial review process could be completed.

But Niess said two more weeks is unlikely to affect that Aug. 1 deadline too much, and said the county should be able to sacrifice speed in order to achieve "something that everyone should have confidence in."

Following the hearing, challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg praised the ruling, saying it will ensure that every vote is protected and that all issues are properly recorded and addressed. She said she has every confidence in the work of local election officials thus far during the recount.

"It's a matter of the integrity of the electoral process in Wisconsin," Kloppenburg said.

Prosser campaign spokesman Brian Nemoir said the recount is about 96 percent done statewide and there has been "an unbelievably minor vote change."

"I think everyone's eager for this to be done," he said.

A status conference to update the court on the Waukesha County recount process is set for Friday at 11:30 a.m.

-- By Andy Szal & Greg Bump

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