ACTION ALERT: Tell Kathy Nickolaus: Step Down and Keep Your Hands Off Our Votes

Menomenee Falls ballot bag: winged and duct taped. April 2011 Recount

Menomenee Falls ballot bag: winged and duct taped. April 2011 Recount

Last September, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board concluded that Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus had indeed violated state law by failing to report 14,000 ballots from Brookfield on election night April 5, 2011 for the Supreme Court race between David Prosser and Joanne Kloppenburg. GAB Board Chair Thomas H. Barland stated, “This action has significantly undermined public confidence in the conduct of elections in Wisconsin and Waukesha County. As a result, state and local election officials, and you in particular, will have to regain the trust of the Wisconsin electorate in the administration of elections in Wisconsin and Waukesha County.”

Despite breaking the law, Nickolaus was not charged, and not even punished. According to Dane County prosecutor Timothy Verhoff, who investigated the incident, Nickolaus’ crime was deemed an “honest mistake” and she walked away with a little more than a hand slap.

Nickolaus arrived in Waukesha already shrouded in scandal. Having been an aide to Prosser during his Republican years in the Assembly (1989-1996), Nickolaus was granted immunity to testify about her role as a computer analyst for the Assembly Republican Caucus, then under investigation for using state resources to secretly run campaigns. In 2002, Republican lawmakers Steven Foti, Scott Jensen and Bonnie Ladwig, as well as aide Sherry Schultz were criminally charged and later convicted in connection to using state resources to run political campaigns, similar to the charges involved in the current John Doe investigation.

Reporters and elections officials attempting to tally the results of the April 3, 2012 primary in Waukesha, when Nickolaus claimed her software wouldn’t upload.

After the September 2011 hand-slap and her promise to straighten up, Nickolaus tanked again during the April 3, 2012 primaries. Claiming her software did not work, Nickolaus had poll workers tape vote tapes to the wall and perform manual counts. She even recruited the help of local reporters. This again delayed results until the following day, again breaking the law. Following the release of Waukesha’s results, Republican Mitt Romney’s lead rose from five to seven points.

Several days later, County Executive Dan Vrakas demanded that Nickolaus either resign or turn the elections over to the deputy clerk. At that time, Vrakas reported that Nickolaus opted to give her election duties over Deputy Clerk Kelly Yeager and restrict herself to the other duties her position requires.

However, on April 28, Nickolaus issued a statement saying that she would not be giving up any of her responsibilities for overseeing the upcoming recall elections but would also not seek reelection in the fall. “Residents of Waukesha County and the state of Wisconsin should know that election integrity has always been my primary focus,” Nickolaus said.

In lieu of these disturbing events, and with Nickolaus claiming she will be at the helm for Tuesday’s primary, perhaps it’s time to revisit the Supreme Court recount. Despite a common misconception that the recount investigated possible election fraud, it did not. Much evidence of fraud was uncovered, but was ignored by GAB Director Kevin Kennedy. It is quite likely what you see below was never shown to the full Board after the recount, before it decided that Prosser won.

One of the 2 infamous duct taped ballot bags from Menomonee Falls in Waukesha County. After inspection these bags were found to be sliced open under the tape. They were also improperly secured --"winged" -- with 6" open ends each side of the zip-tie.

One of the 2 infamous duct taped ballot bags from Menomonee Falls in Waukesha County. After inspection these bags were found to be sliced open under the tape. They were also improperly secured –“winged” — with 6″ open ends each side of the zip-tie.

The level of possible election fraud found by those who participated in the recount deserves to be revisited. It is vital to understand that Kathy Nickolaus did far more than simply fail to post Brookfield’s results for the Supreme Court election, the most widely reported of her mistakes. The recount uncovered over 800 anomalies and breaks in the chains of custody. Nickolaus has been portrayed as an inept but well-meaning county clerk, but the magnitude of evidence of election tampering suggests that Nickolaus’ previous association with political activities may not have ended with the caucus scandal.

We may never get a chance to legally revisit the evidence of election fraud that was swept under the rug by Kennedy last Spring. But we can surely participate in our own election review process and observe our polls after closing time to see where and how our ballots are handled.

After the unconstitutional Voter ID bill being struck down, and redistricting partially dismantled, be prepared for yet another Nickolaus gaffe. Call County Executive Daniel Vrakas. Email him a link to this article and demand Nickolaus step aside. Better yet, call Nickolaus herself and tell her to step down. She’s done enough.

Since she seems to be permanently immune to being accountable for her mistakes, it’s time for us to take charge.

Dan Vrakas
countyexec@waukeshacounty.gov

Phone: 262-548-7902

Kathy Nickolaus
countyclerk@waukeshacounty.gov
Phone: 262-548-7010

Curiously mis-matched initials on Pewaukee ballot bags.

A pile of signed, blank absentee ballots, ready to be filled out and stuffed into the open bags if need be.

More open bags.

One of countless bags that were winged–with enough room to remove or insert ballots

One of several photos of a touch screen poll tape I observed from Penaukee dated March 30, 2011 1:40 AM for an election that took place April 5, 2011. On Frinday, May 16, Barbara Hanson, election official overseeing the recount in Waukesha, confirmed twice that this was an official ballot. The same day, another clerk was sworn in and testified that this was indeed a real ballot, but that the votes were taken on April 5th but that she could not confirm how they got to be dated March 30th. On Monday, May 19, I submitted a letter to the canvassing board to include in the minutes a feasible explanation for how this date stamping occured. It was then I was told there were no touch screen votes from Pewaukee. Subsequent investigation with voting machine representative Aaron Storbeck confirms the only way to get an official ballot dated five days before an election is to insert the programmed pack, designed to only be used on election day, into the voting machine on that date and run off votes. Machines batteries are seldom used and when they do run down, a large yellow ban flashes across the bottom of the screen.

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2 Comments on “ACTION ALERT: Tell Kathy Nickolaus: Step Down and Keep Your Hands Off Our Votes”

  1. Julie May 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    Every time I read about this travesty I get angry all over again.

  2. Andrew Seeger May 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    Her actions have been nothing short of criminal.

    Why hasn’t she been charged? Why is still in office? Is this Cook County (Illinois)?

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