April 11, 2011- During an interview with WKOW 27 News, state supreme court justice David Prosser called the idea of a federal probe into Waukesha County vote-counting in his race against challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg "preposterous."
Prosser also told WKOW 27 News he would make no declaration of victory, at least until a canvass of all vote totals and certification of votes are submitted by all counties to the state government accountability board.
Prosser's lead over Kloppenburg is just under seven thousand votes. Unofficial vote totals reported by the Associated Press the day after last week's election showed Kloppenburg leading by 204 votes, but the outcome was reversed when Waukesha County clerk Kathy Nickolaus revealed she failed to report the city of Brookfield's more than 14,000 votes in her county's unofficial vote total, blaming her failure to save the data to her work computer.
Prosser's rejection of the idea of a federal inquiry echoed the sentiments of the state's chief elections official Kevin Kennedy, who last week announced his staff members would review Nickolaus' handling of the elections and reporting of results.
Kennedy said the review has revealed no lawbreaking, but poor practice by Nickolaus in choosing to list only countywide vote totals on the county's election night web page, instead of municipality-by-municipality totals.
"We don't see at this point any criminal activity. We certainly see practices that need to be changed to bolster public confidence."
But congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) requested a federal probe in a letter to U.S. Attorney Eric Holder. Baldwin said such an investigation would be warranted to assure the public of the integrity of the election process.
During a news briefing Monday, when asked whether any federal efforts would duplicate reviews at the state level, Baldwin stood firm. "Redundancy would be welcome."