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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/10/11

Black Box Voting: WISCONSIN VOTE SPREAD 29,207? 7,500? Or 6,744?

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You can discuss this here (and download the state spreadsheet missing 400,000 votes):

I've been buried in e-mails, phone calls and urgent cries for help regarding the strange saga of the Wisconsin Spring 2011 Supreme Court race. Early results separated David T. Prosser Jr. from Joanne Kloppenburg by just a hair, in a controversial high profile race characterized by polarized commentary on both right and left. Then the surprise late entry of 14,326 Brookfield votes tipped the race to Prosser and out of reach of a recount. Barely.

If the late Brookfield votes just coincidentally blocked a state-paid recount, scrutiny is appropriate. I wanted to know the exact number of votes needed for that magic recount number.

I downloaded the detailed election results spreadsheet from the state of Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board (GAB) Website. The spreadsheet is time-stamped Friday, April 08, 2011 4:11:14 PM, nearly 24 hours after the Brookfield votes came in.



The latest state spreadsheet as of this writing doesn't show the candidates separated by a dead heat. It doesn't show them separated by a smidgen over the 7,500 votes reported to be needed to block a recount. And it doesn't show the magic recount number as 7,500 votes.

The Friday Wisconsin results, still unofficial because the election hasn't been certified yet, show a total of 1,103,826 votes, with 566,130 for Prosser and 536,923 for Kloppenburg (and 773 random scattered votes).

In this spreadsheet, which contains detailed results by municipality and includes the late-breaking Brookfield votes, the spread is 29,207 for Prosser and the magic number for a recount would be only 5,519.

That's because AFTER Brookfield came into the state, there were (and are, as of this writing) still 400,000 votes missing from the state data.


When the story about Brookfield first broke, my very first question was: What about the municipal results? Do you mean to tell me those candidates were so incurious that they never asked for their results? Of course, it turns out, those results HAD been posted in Brookfield, as had the Brookfield supreme court race results, just after midnight on Election Night.

There was no variance between the results posted at the municipality of Brookfield and the late-reported results.

Could the late-reported results have been a ploy? In other words, was someone waiting to see what they needed, so they could tack a few hundred on to Brookfield votes to hit the magic block-a-recount number?

There was no variance between the results committed to on Election Night and the late results sent to the state.

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Bev Harris is executive director of Black Box Voting, Inc. an advocacy group committed to restoring citizen oversight to elections.
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