The funk emanating from Waukesha County Wisconsin tonight is suspiciously radioactive. It’s not everyday that 14,000 votes are lost in the crevice between the counter and the refrigerator. One could say stranger things have happened, but as far as Wisconsin goes I don’t believe they actually have.
The explanation from County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus is technically murky and plainly weird. Her excuse already has been challenged on software grounds by experts, though it’s possible…what’s not in this state..that she simply explained it clumsily.
Nickolaus does have a Republican past in Wisconsin government and politics that raises eyebrows to a height approximately that to which a Saturn rocket lifts a payload. And she has been at the center of related irregularities before. Apparently all manner of investigation is about to descend on Waukesha County, from the Wisconsin Accountability Board to potentially the local U.S. Attorney’s office.
Of course, at this point it is just as possible that the “adjusted” vote wil turn out to be legitimate. If so, the election still was a remarkable turn for Prosser, going from a ninety-some percent victory previously to a near loss this time. And it still would be a tribute to the democratic whirlpool stirred by Republican extremism, and promise a hard rain likely to fall when recall votes come around later. But a Kloppenburg victory would have been better, much much better.
I’ll say this: Wisconsin these days keeps you on the edge of your seat. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I love the smell of democracy burning in the morning.