That's just about it, according to the written statutes anyway.
In other words, as we read the applicable laws, the election could be overturned by the court if the Kloppenburg camp is able (and willing) to show that enough votes for David Prosser were "irregular" due to gross violations of chain of custody, where nobody can swear to the authentic provenance of ballots being included in the count.
At this hour, with approximately 21,500 votes still being canvassed from the Waukesha "recount," there are 7,008 votes now said to be dividing the two candidates. If an appeal were held today, the Kloppenburg campaign would need to show that just 3,504 votes for Prosser, out of the 1.5 million cast in the election, are "irregular" or "defective" enough in some fashion that, if they were excluded from the results, there is a good "probability of an altered outcome" in the election.
Kloppenburg's campaign manager Mulliken insists they have made no determination about whether they will request a judicial review after the count is finally complete, but she told us, "We are doing our best to do a complete and thorough job to object to these bags as they are counted, and reviewing that record will be our job in determining what we do after the election."
"We have to look at the record and see if it contains information and evidence that forms the basis for a claim. We don't know what we're going to do because the record's not complete," she said late this week during a phone conversation. "When the recount is over, we have five business days to decide if we're going to ask for judicial review. We're going to look at the facts and decide from there."
After nearly a week of repeated attempts at finding out how and if the G.A.B. would confirm the ballots being counted were the same as those cast and, if so, how, spokesperson Reid Magney finally responded directly to the query, again, placing most of his faith in the machines.
"There are numerous security checks throughout the process to ensure the ballots being recounted are the same ones cast on Election Day," he wrote in an email. "There is a public test of the system before Election Day. Each ballot is initialed by two poll workers. There is a print-out made after the polls close. The hand-recount totals have been extremely close to the machine print-outs which, along with all the other protections in place, confirms that they are the same ballots."
As expected, the Prosser campaign, as they are still on the winning side of the reported results, have few concerns, and generally concur with Magney's assessment, even though they wouldn't confirm that they knew the ballots being counted were actually the ones cast. Spokesperson Brian Nemoir told us, "We are pretty confident in the results reported the night of the election and all three canvasses and now recount."
We suspect he'd be offering a different assessment if the numbers were reversed. Unlike Democrats (which Kloppenburg is not, she's Iindependent) Republicans fight aggressively at any indication of fraud when they believe it might overturn a close election they appear to be losing. Unfortunately, they also have a tendency to invent such indications when needed.
Nonetheless, despite all that we have learned, Nemoir sees no problems. "I don't think the underlying story is that there are anomalies or concerns," he told us. "I think the underlying story is that this recount should provide great confidence. I think you've got a line of strong proof that should not invoke questions but should invoke confidence."
And if these new photos of duct taped ballot bags from the Village of Menomonee Falls in, you guessed it, Waukesha County (as taken by an observer who has asked not to be identified) doesn't "invoke confidence," we don't know what will...
Our thanks to Jeannie Dean for her invaluable help and research on this story, as well as the members of the Facebook Election Integrity group who have contributed insight, eye-witness accounts and photographs from the ground, and various reports and analysis that have been integral to our WI Supreme Court recount coverage over the last several weeks.
ALSO: ProtectOurElections.org has created a "Wisconsin Supreme Court Election Anomaly Report Form" where observers of irregularities during the "recount" proceedings may add their reports to a master database for potential use in a judicial review of the election.