Wisconsin Supreme Court Recount - Day 6

The big news of the day is the catch of two errors committed by town clerks in a pair of Waupaca County towns, one of which should have been but wasn’t caught in the county canvass. The Government Accountability Board relayed the explanations from Waupaca County Clerk Mary Robbins (note; Robbins misstated the final vote total for JoAnne Kloppenburg in the town of Larrabee – it was 138 after the recount according to both press reports and the 6:07 pm 5/2 GAB spreadsheet; the latter link will not be to the 6:07 pm 5/2 GAB worksheet after noon on 5/3):

Town of Larrabee – discrepancy in count. I have attached our recount notes in regards to the Town of Larrabee. They use both the Edge machine and the Optech Eagle. The Town of Larrabee original tally sheet from the April 5, 2011 election showed a 0 vote count on the Eagle on their tally sheet. (minutes attached) Board of Canvass did not think they could open the ballot bag to count at their April 7th Board of Canvass, we should have done that. The clerk was called (Arlene Kratzke) and she said she just forgot to transfer the numbers onto the sheet. The Board of Canvass should have caught this mistake the tape was attached and I apologize, we must have just read the sheet and didn’t check the tapes, we normally always check the tapes. The call in sheet, also, only shows 70 for Kloppenburg, the tape shows 167 (sic), the actual hand count shows 168 (sic) for Kloppenburg.

Town of Royalton – discrepancy in count, Kloppenburg original count was 80, Recount final count was 95 votes for Kloppenburg. They use the Edge machine and paper ballots: Original Tally was 80 votes, the Edge machine tape showed 40 ballots, that total matched the tape, they counted the Edge tape 3 times. The hand counted paper ballots were 40 on the original tally sheet (I think they just put 40 in both columns by mistake) Tabulators, counted 3 times for Kloppenburg. The 15 ballots were paper ballots, the recount team counted these ballots 3 times. Clerk had no explanation other than the election officials forgot to count a stack of ballots cast for Kloppenburg when they reported and put all paper ballots into the bag or the person writing the tallies just copied the 40 twice. Since these were paper ballots a recount is the only way these would have been found.

Of note, David Prosser also gained a single vote in the Larrabee recount, while he lost 7 in the Royalton recount.

Overall, things shifted a bit further in Kloppenburg’s favor. With 2,128 reporting units (59.08%) and 806,888 votes (just under 54%) recounted and reviewed, Prosser lost 148 votes of his pre-recount 7,316-vote lead to bring the unofficial lead down to 7,168. A further 61 or 64 reporting units (depending on whether one believes the 64 listed in the summary on the GAB site or the 61 listed on the GAB spreadsheet) have reported, but have not been reviewed.

The GAB has also mentioned a couple of other tidbits in its summary of the day:

  • 24 of the 72 counties have completed their recounts.
  • Milwaukee County will appear to be a bit behind for a while yet because the absentee ballots in the city were counted at a central location on election night, and because of that, the separate count of those ballots were not yet completed.

I stopped at the recount location for Milwaukee County this afternoon and briefly talked with one of the election officials. He told me that they were “approaching halfway”, and that they hoped to be done by either next week Monday (which would be the day the recount is to be done by state law) or Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Lisa Sink over at Brookfield Patch reports things are continuing to go very slowly in Waukesha County. Only about 11,000 of the 125,000+ votes had been recounted as of midday.

Revisions/extensions – It’s time to crush the dreams of some Kloppenburg supporters. Let’s take the most-generous interpretation of the vote shift I can give you, and look at just the net 169-vote shift away from Prosser and to Kloppenburg in the votes recounted and reviewed by the GAB between Sunday afternoon and Monday evening. That involved 129,058 votes, which means that net 169-vote shift represents a 0.131% net shift to Kloppenburg. Taking the rate of additional votes over the course of the just-over-24-hour period (0.185%) into account would mean there would be an estimated 692,508 votes left to count (691,230 pre-recount votes left, plus an estimated 1,278-as-yet-uncounted net vote gain). Multiplying the estimated remaining votes by the unrounded net gain Kloppenburg enjoyed between Sunday afternoon’s numbers and Monday evening’s numbers would get Kloppenburg a net 907-vote gain out of the remaining ballots, which would put her total recount gain at 1,055. However, since Prosser entered the recount with a 7,316-vote lead, he would leave it with a 6,261-vote post-recount win.

If one uses the net 0.184% net gain Kloppenburg has received and the 0.0945% total vote gain since the start of the recount, her final net gain would be far less. Out of the estimated 691,894 votes remaining, Kloppenburg would gain a net 128-vote gain, bringing her total recount vote gain to 276 and giving Prosser a 7,040-vote post-recount win.

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