Wisconsin Supreme Court Recount - Day 2 (and some recall news)

There actually is a dearth of stories from Wisconsin media today on the recount in the Supreme Court race. A quick scan of various state media sites turned up only stories filed about yesterday’s start to the recount, and those were almost completely without exception general “the recount has started slowly but surely” pieces.

That is not to say that there wasn’t any news today. The first bit of news came when the Government Accountability Board took down the running-total spreadsheet this morning, with very little explanation and a promise to have a revised one up by noon. Noon came and went without an update, but a fuller explanation came just after 5 pm – they made some data entry errors yesterday.

I’ll cut them just a bit of slack; this is the first election where either the GAB or its predecessor State Elections Board has reported any election results other than the official and certified numbers. However, this is also not the first time this election they had to pull back reported unofficial numbers; while the counties were reporting their canvassed totals, GAB pulled back numbers reported for two different counties for unspecified reasons, then put up revised numbers before the last county reported just before the deadline. In those two cases, a total of six reported votes were affected.

As of 6:05 pm, they released an updated spreadsheet, with 52 reporting units “reviewed by G.A.B. staff”. Consequently, I have updated my tracking spreadsheet with the numbers from (and only from) those 52 reporting units. I almost don’t want to report the change from such a small number of the 3,602 reporting units, mostly because there are a significant number of counties that have reported results from reporting units to the GAB but have not had numbers entered into GAB’s spreadsheet, but Prosser did gain a net 10 votes on his pre-recount 7,316-vote lead.

The other item comes out of Waukesha County, from a friend who was at the recount, Kyle Maichle (note; the vote totals Kyle mentions were not included above):

Day 2 of the recount in Waukesha County resulted in all of the wards in the Town of Brookfield and the Town of Delafield fully counted. Waukesha County Spokeswoman Ellen Nowak, told me that there is no change on Prosser’s lead in Waukesha County. The only thing has had change was the votes that Prosser gained yesterday in the Town of Brookfield.

After recount activity resumed after the lunch break, there was a very contentious moment when ballot bags for the Town of Delafield were about to be opened. A Kloppenburg campaign attorney challenged one of the bags due to no inspector statement written on the bag. After both campaigns huddled with the presiding judge to go over the ballot bag issue, the Clerk for the Town of Delafield was asked to testify to campaign representatives and the canvassers to determine if the ballots should be allowed. The Board of Canvassers unanimously rejected the Kloppenburg Campaign’s challenge and allowed the ballots to be counted.

There were two other ballot issues today involving the Town of Brookfield. In wards 9 and 10, one ballot was never assigned a voter number and canvassers had to examine if the ballot was valid. In wards 5 and 7, a hand recount of Prosser absentee ballots were ordered after one of their attorneys successfully challenged the canvassing board on grounds that two folded absentee ballots issued on election day were put in the wrong pile.

Do note the “unanimously” above. That means Ramona Kitzinger, the Democrat on the canvassing board, voted to reject Kloppenburg’s challenge of the bag of ballots in question. Side question – what is the over/under on Kitzinger recanting that decision in the same vein of her recantation of her declaration the canvas was on the up-and-up?

Meanwhile, Wisconsin political news was dominated by the recalls (first 2 items courtesy the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the third courtesy WisPolitics):

  • The Democrats turned in recall petitions against the 6th of their targeted 8 Senate Repbulicans, Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay). There’s going to be more elections than I anticipated, but I still am not moving off my early prediction of a 2-2 split of flips or a 3-2 Republican advantage.
  • The local-based group that fell just short of enough signatures to force a recall of Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) said that it will not consolidate its efforts with those of the Utah-based American Patriot Recall Coalition.
  • The GAB has gone to court to seek an extension of the 31-day signature review period of the recall petitions against Sens. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse) and Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) so that the first 8 recall elections (or at least primaries; if more than one Democrat, one Republican or one Constitution Party candidate files to run, the first election would be a partisan primary with the general recall election 4 weeks later) could all be held on the same day, July 12. In response, the Democrat Party of Wisconsin wants to force at least three separate recall election dates – one for Kapanke and Hopper, one for Sens. Jim Holperin (D-Conover), Bob Wirch (D-Burlington), Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), and a third for Cowles.

Revisions/extensions (8:46 am 4/28/2011) – For those of you who think Kloppenburg will go quietly into the good night once the recount affirms Prosser’s win, WisPolitics has a dose of cold water for you – Kloppenburg campaign says ‘anomalies’ warrant more review.

Back at my blog, I’ve resurrected a category I had hoped would remain permanently retired – “Grand Theft Courts”. That bit of news is another datum in the theory that Kloppenburg intends to have a judge (or as I tend to call the liberal ones, Lawgiver-In-Black) overturn the results of the election.

R&E part 2 (11:48 am 4/29/2011) – WISC-TV’s Jessica Arp is live-tweeting the court proceedings in the “recall election consolidation” case. Running through the by-the-book timeline (31 days after the petitions are received to review, GAB needs to determine whether the petitions are sufficient for filing, then 6 weeks plus the days to the following Tuesday if the 6 weeks doesn’t end on a Tuesday before the election), the recall election of Cowles would also be on July 12, which would, if GAB is successful, put all 9 recall elections (or primaries as the case may be) on the same day.

I blog over at No Runny Eggs, and am on Twitter @steveegg