After a four-day investigation, the state agency in charge of validating election results announced Tuesday it found no significant irregularities in the vote totals reported in Waukesha County.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court race between challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg and incumbent Justice David Prosser ended too close to call on the night of the election. The next day, Kloppenburg came out ahead of Prosser by 204 votes and declared victory. But a Waukesha County clerk then announced the discovery of more than 14,000 uncounted votes, which when tallied placed Prosser above Kloppenburg by over 7,000 votes.
The Government Accountability Board led an investigation into the votes discovered by Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus and certified by the county’s canvassing team. The GAB said its investigation did not find any significant discrepancies in the vote tally.
“We are satisfied that the numbers reported by the municipalities were consistent with the numbers certified by the Waukesha County Board of Canvassers,” GAB spokesperson Reid Magney said in a statement. “Although staff identified a few anomalies, the GAB finds no major discrepancies between the Waukesha County’s official canvass report and the documentation provided by the municipalities.”
Prosser, who declared victory in the election Monday, said he is satisfied with the GAB’s results and said the GAB’s report added a non-partisan voice of affirmation to the results of the election, spokesperson Brian Nemoir said in a statement.
The investigation would seem to negate the need for a recount, which Prosser said Monday was not warranted and would be costly to taxpayers. Still, despite the GAB’s report, other election observers are calling for a recount to further increase the confidence Wisconsin’s electorate has in their voting system.
“We wanted them to look at it, and if they’ve investigated carefully, which I have no reason to believe they haven’t, then I am satisfied there isn’t any wrong doing,” Common Cause in Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck said. “But this is a close election – 7,000 votes – and I think with the recall elections just ahead it’s important the citizens in Wisconsin have full confidence in the way votes are counted.”
He added Prosser’s public denouncement of a recount was all the more reason to request one.
The GAB is still in the process of reviewing documents and correspondence from the Waukesha County Clerk’s office for any peculiar items. Its full report will be available in the next 60 days. Another investigation looking into Waukesha County vote discrepancies in the 2006 attorney general race is ongoing.