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Monday, May 16, 2011

Kloppenburg Digs In Deeper - The Recount Will Continue and Then Some

Several days ago the Editorial Board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel joined a growing chorus expressing exasperation that JoAnne Kloppenburg failed to see her own recount folly.

Among other things, Kloppenburg's ballot bag security complaint has been rendered just a theory because the recount votes have not varied much from the canvass and election night tallies.  If ballot bag security issues reflected either inaccuracies or fraud, it would have shown up in recount totals which varied from prior counts.  But it did not.  It's just a theory.

Yet Kloppenburg is digging in deeper, writing an Op-ed published this evening at the Journal Sentinel website, in which Kloppenburg stands by her decision for a statewide recount and again pushes the ballot bag security claim:
The recount has uncovered significant and widespread errors and anomalies in the securing of ballots and recording of votes on election day. There have been changes to vote totals in every county due to miscounted or missing votes.

Many bags of ballots have been found to be essentially unsealed or ripped to the extent that ballot security is compromised. A stack of ballots, unbagged, was found in a clerk's office. Ballots were found in voting machines where they had been left. Seal numbers on ballot bags and tags were not recorded in the inspector's reports, creating doubt that the bags were properly sealed on election night.
Touchscreen voting machine tapes were missing votes, or worse, were entirely blank and had to be reproduced from machine memory to allow a recount of the vote.
The most widespread and systemic errors and anomalies have been discovered in Waukesha County. That county was already under a cloud, and this recount has revealed more questions about elections practices there.
No election is perfect, and if the gap were a few hundred votes, one could understand Kloppenburg fighting to the bitter end over every vote.

Yet the gap was not a few hundred votes, it was 7316.  Kloppenburg seems incapable of grasping this reality. 

Kloppenburg resembles someone on a soapbox yelling that the world is going to end tomorrow, and then tomorrow is back up on the soapbox claiming the world is going to end tomorrow, and so on and so on.  The theory does not meet with reality, but it's such a great theory it can't be abandoned.

Kloppenburg says in the Op-ed that she has not yet made a decision about going to court to challenge the results, but this passage from her Op-ed seems to reflect that she wants to do so:
This election was close, and there were many who have expressed doubts about whether it was clean. The right to vote is fundamental. It is a right that courageous people fight and die for every day. In America, that right carries with it a promise: that elections are fair and open, that election results are untainted by deceit or fraud and that the electoral process provides every eligible voter with an equal opportunity to privately and independently cast a ballot.
"Fundamental" rights and "equal opportunity."  Those are terms large enough for Kloppenburg to drive a 50-page brief through, regardless of the facts.

Thankfully for the people of Wisconsin, Kloppenburg with not be on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, because her conception of fundamental rights and equal opportunity appears to be divorced from the reality we all see with our own eyes.

Update:  Steve Eggleston reports that the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is reacting harshly to Kloppenburg's ballot bag security claims, issuing this statement:
Questions about the authenticity of ballots have arisen during the recount process due to holes in some ballot bags, gaps in their closure or issues with security tags. A hole in a ballot bag or a missing security tag is not enough evidence alone to discard the ballots inside. The ability to put a hand into a ballot bag is not by itself evidence of fraud....

During a recount, the people in charge of recounting the ballots are not the people who handled and counted the ballots on Election Night.  If the ballots had been tampered with between the election and the recount, there would be a break in the chain of custody and an unexplained difference in the results....

So far, we have found no significant, unexplained variances of vote totals. Staff will continue to review Waukesha County’s results as they come in each day until the recount is complete.

Related Posts:
Kloppenburg Etymology
Ironic Twist of Fate In Wisconsin Recount

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  1. I've been beating the drum in here since the recount started not to underestimate the audacity of their reach -- if they think they can convince enough voters that there might be something wrong with the election they will try to use the courts to disenfranchise enough voters to steal the election.

    They've had their Senators flee the State to try to block a vote. They flooded the Capitol Bldg to try to intimidate the legislature. They issued a risible TRO to veto a law with out making any sort of a determination what the merits of it were. They've issued threats. They've vandalized buildings. They've made harassing phone calls to people who signed recall ballets.

    No matter how nonsensical their claims of anomalies and errors are, nothing in their behavior to date indicates that they won't pursue them to the bitter end -- and since they may have the politicized courts in their corner that end may feel they can get away with it.

    Remember, voter ID and redistricting are the big prizes. They've done everything in their power to derail the Republican's ability to govern the State. With those two issues outstanding I think they will continue to try to grind the gears of government to a halt.

    You people need to stop waiting for the Democrats to show some restraint. Not gonna happen...

    They are playing hardball with this recount

  2. This is starting to resemble Monty Python and the Holy Grail when Sir Arthur encountered the Black Knight.

  3. That stack of ballots Kloppenburg mentions wasn't challenged by her campaign, though I expect just those 92 ballots to be challenged in court. Of course, had that stack turned up in Waukesha County instead of Dane County, they would have challenged all the ballots in that reporting unit at the canvass.

    Thanks again for the linkage

  4. This from a NY Post piece.

    " The state Supreme Court has set oral arguments on Walker's appeal of that ruling for June 6.

    In a plain bid to wire that court, liberal JoAnne Kloppenburg challenged incumbent Justice David Prosser earlier this year. When she lost, she requested a recount, which thus far has cost state taxpayers nearly a quarter of a million dollars. The recount, which with all but one county reporting hasn't come close to

    overturning the result, is to finish May 26.

    But even that won't be an end: Kloppenburg has said she'd likely to go court to challenge the election's legality.

    Could the idea be to not allow Prosser to be seated until after the oral arguments have finished?

  5. Is the Klop plan to:
    Drag out the recount;
    Take it to court, seeking an order that overturns the election or throws it out altogether;
    Get an appellate court to agree with the lower court, with enough time passing so that the case gets to the Supreme Court after Prosser's current term has expired, so that the Supreme Court will split 3-3, thereby affirming the appellate court.
    If they have a plan why isn't this it?
    I must be missing something.

  6. So, given that she's apparently willing to exercise every legal option at her disposal, how long can she drag this out?

  7. Geoff, Prosser is on the Court until August 1 regardless of what Kloppenburg pulls. Of course, she and Abrahamson are on a Quixotic crusade to overturn not just Prosser's election, but at a minimum two others once they get a compliant (i.e. Democrat) governor who would replace Justices Michael Gabelman and Annette Ziegler (who will become the first two victims of The Coven) with liberal Lawgivers-In-Black.

  8. Thank you steveegg, I had assumed that the term had expired.

  9. How fast this goes is really dependent on the judges. The only two deadlines I'm aware of are the 5 business days after the last county finishes to appeal (which, if it's after the end of the week, pushes things a week and a day after that point because of Memorial Day), and the 30 days to appeal out of the (kangaroo) court to the Madison-based 4th District Court of Appeals.

    Given there would likely be a federal appeal, I'm not at all confident the last of the judicial proceedings will be prior to August 1.

    All of the challenges/counter-challenges would be consolidated into a single case, so there's some hope for speed there.

  10. Prosser will have to recuse himself from the recount, but there is no reason he'll have to recuse himself from the appeal of the TRO. However, expect a lot of yelling that he should.

  11. We are truly babes in the woods next to the ambition of the Left.

    Tenacity wins what righteousness cedes.

  12. "Kloppenburg resembles someone on a soapbox yelling that the world is going to end tomorrow, and then tomorrow is back up on the soapbox claiming the world is going to end tomorrow, and so on and so on."

    You mean like the plaque that is displayed in one of my favorite gin mills that reads 'Free beer tomorrow'?

    wv - backlogi

  13. Who pays for legal costs after the recount is finished, and validated? Isn't that the end of Wisconsin's obligation? Surely the state doesn't have to finance her madness beyond that?

  14. She needs more Seattle-ites handling the ballots.

    In 2004 current Washington Governor Christine Gregoire forced 2 recounts and left leaning King County kept introducing "missed votes" from unsecured locations until she won.

    Her current approval rating as Governor of Washington State is around 30%, which oddly enough is about the same amount she increased the size of government during her tenure.

    The state legislature is now in an exended session in how to deal with a multibillion dollar budget short fall.

    Fortunately due to a voter initiative, taxes cannot be raised w/out a 2/3 vote or a majority vote by the voters.

    I'm just sayin'... it all works out.