Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kloppenburg requests recount in WI Supreme Court race

Recount assures voters across the state their votes count

The Government Accountability Board is announcing that Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg is requesting a statewide recount following her initial loss to sitting Justice David Prosser.

Kloppenburg lost to Prosser by a margin of less than one-half of one percentage points, which allows her to make the request without having to pay any fees.

Besides losing by less than .5 percent of the vote, Kloppenburg's request for a recount makes sense on a separate level as well, regarding the confusion over ballots cast within Waukesha County, both this year and in years' past. An error by the Clerk of that county, Kathy Nickolaus, gave Prosser a victory of more than 7,000 votes two days after the election took place.

The discovery of more than 14,000 "missing" votes, which flipped the victory to Prosser's favor two days after he had been losing, warrants a recount on its own. But the fact that Waukesha County has for years had difficulties in counting votes (one time having 20,000 more votes than ballots cast in 2006) makes it ridiculous NOT to pursue the recount.

If only to assure voters that every vote was counted, to guarantee that everyone's voice is respected, this recount is NEEDED. Seven thousand votes will be hard to make up for, hard to find uncounted in order to defeat David Prosser. But that's not the important aspect of this recount -- the important aspect is ensuring that democracy in Wisconsin is functioning properly, that the discrepancies that Kathy Nickolaus is responsible for in Waukesha County aren't disrupting the outcome of statewide elections, within the past, present, or future.

Kloppenburg may end up losing her bid for the State Supreme Court. But win or lose, the people of Wisconsin win by having the recount take place.

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