Now that the Wisconsin Supreme Court vote recount is finally winding down, might be a good time to review the workings and wanderings of Wisconsin’s favorite County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus. Now that time has passed since her “human error” press conference of April 7, we can take another look at her words with the benefit of hind site.
As you may know, Kath recused herself from the recount process in Waukesha, but not so much as you might notice. She has been sitting in her office during the process with ready access to the vote bags, vote machines, and poll books from her county, even after the series of questionable actions, mistakes, lies, and blunders that have permeated her stewardship of the Waukesha vote that swung the election into the arms of her former boss.
In 2002, while working for Judge Prosser, Kathy Nickolaus was granted immunity from prosecution for her testimony in the case
From WKOW News
Criminal complaints filed against three republican lawmakers and a republican aide in 2002 made reference to problems with the information technology work of Kathy Nickolaus, whose mistake in reporting unofficial election results in the current state supreme court race has plunged the race into controversy.
In 2002, republican lawmakers Steven Foti, Scott Jensen and Bonnie Ladwig and aide Sherry Schultz were criminally charged and later convicted in connection to using state resources to run political campaigns. Nickolaus was an employee of the assembly republican caucus, one of four state-funded policy-support divisions where illegal campaign work took place.
A criminal complaint in the case states campaign finance reports were assembled using a computer program while employees were on-the-clock for the state. The complaint states one employee “…expressed frustration with a program that ARC employee Kathy Nickolaus had created.”
The complaint also states dissatisfaction with Nickolaus was more widespread: “…legislators were then using a prior existing, but ineffective, campaign finance report software program created by Kathy Nickolaus.”
Nickolaus received immunity from prosecution in the corruption case in exchange for her testimony.
Last week, Waukesha County clerk Nickolaus swung the supreme court case from challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg to justice David Prosser when she revealed she failed to include more than 14,000 votes from the city of Brookfield in unofficial county vote totals she released on election night, blaming a failure to properly save the data on her work computer.
Prosser is a former republican assembly speaker who directed the activities of the assembly republican caucus during part of Nickolaus’ time as an ARC employee.
Posted under Inside Scoop
This post was written by tgalli on April 11, 2011
Kathy Nicholaus was provided with “special” software, that only she possessed or used by the Government Accounting Board
Madison Wisconsin – Breaking news today in the Prosser/Kloppenburg recount — as it turns out the software that Kathy Nickolaus used the night of the election was written specifically for her. Yes, I am not kidding you. Politiscoop for the last few weeks have been pressing the GAB to explain this. The Fix is on article we published on Sunday, 10 April 2011. Since then we have been asking for answers — we have even emailed the pdf of what we were sent and we have yet to receive an answer from the GAB. Could it be this new revelation played a part in Prosser appearing to have won the election two days before the votes were cast? — We still don’t know and we do not know why there has not been an answer given to us.
Today the website http://www.milwaukeenewsbuzz.com revealed that a through an open records request an email was sent to county clerks around Wisconsin. It stated the following:
The email, by Rusk County Clerk Denise Wetzel and addressed to other county clerks in Wisconsin, including Nickolaus, was sent on April 8, the day after Nickolaus revealed the vote-reporting error in a press conference. It reads, “Please note that the program Kathy uses IS NOT the new canvass reporting program that is in the (Statewide Voter Registration System) that we all have been using as of late. It is a completely different program that was created by GAB for Kathy to accumulate her votes prior to uploading them into the program that the rest of us use.”
Kathy did not reveal the “human error” to a member of her canvas board in Wakesha County before the infamous press conference on April 7
From The Daily Kos
Kathy didn’t offer an explanation about why she didn’t mention anything prior to Thursday afternoon’s canvass completion, but showed us different tapes where numbers seemed to add up, though I have no idea where the numbers were coming from. I was not told of the magnitude of this error, just that she had made one. I was then instructed that I would not say anything at the press conference, and was actually surprised when I was asked questions by reporters.
The reason I offer this explanation is that, with the enormous amount of attention this has received over the weekend, many people are offering my statements at the press conference that “the numbers jibed” as validation they are correct and I can vouch for their accuracy. As I told Kathy when I was called into the room , I am 80 years old and I dont understand anything about computers. I don’t know where the numbers Kathy was showing me ultimately came from, but they seemed to add up. I am still very, very confused about why the canvass was finalized before I was informed of the Brookfield error and it wasn’t even until the press conference was happening that I learned it was this enormous mistake that could swing the whole election. 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.
Kathy’s claim: “She forgot to save.”, is refuted by experienced Access Spreadsheet users.
Nickolaus says repeatedly that she imported the data into Access, but through a process of “human error”, she “forgot to save”. Then come the tears, repeatedly, throughout her presser.
From The Daily Kos
Here’s the problem. Microsoft Access (any version) doesn’t ask you to save. When you enter data into a table, it automatically updates the underlying database. If you close the database accidentally, the data you entered (or imported, in the case of Nickolaus) remains. If you stop to take a phone call from your buddy the governor (for example), your data will still automatically save.
Kathy tries to clarify questions regarding her responsibilities on her own web site, but seems to only dig a deeper hole
From The Democratic Underground
*The Number of Ballots Cast do not reflect all results, only those electronically sent.
(Ballots cast will not be equal to official votes cast)
That was added on Tuesday to the Waukesha county elections website. Obviously, ballots totals Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement. There’s an asterisk up there now, see!
After some ridicule about that initial update from her office, Kathy Nickolaus had to re-clarify things on the Waukesha county elections website. Now at the top of the page:
What does Ballot Cast mean in the summary reports?
Ballot Cast is the number of ballots that were fed through the election machines at the polling places and the results were collected using a modem in the office. It does NOT include any hand entered results.
Number of Votes in a particular contest or race is the number of votes certified after canvassing. The results collected using a modem and any results hand entered in the office on election night.
Why would the ballots cast be higher than the number of people that voted in a specific contest or race?
The ballots cast are not adjusted when a person doesn’t vote for that contest, a person votes for too many people in that contest, a person sends through a blank ballot, or when a person writes in a statement instead of a name and is not counted as a vote in the scattering section.
Why would the ballots cast be lower than the number of people that voted in a specific contest or race?
The ballots cast would be lower if a portion of the results were entered by hand.
How can the percentage of turnout be so high?
Waukesha County is known for higher than State average turnout. In addition the turnout is calculated using the number of registered voters, prior to Election Day. As Wisconsin allows for Election Day registration the turnout number would be skewed dependent on the number of people that registered Election Day.