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Statement Regarding Supreme Court Election Canvass Process

Date: 
April 8, 2011

MADISON, WI – Kevin J. Kennedy, director and general counsel of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board issued the following statement today:

Our election system is administered by people, and some problems are bound to occur.  However, our post-election canvass system is designed to identify any errors and correct them.  While unofficial results reported by some counties on Election Night have proven to be incorrect, the process of election officials canvassing and certifying those results is working.

Because of the attention on vote totals from Brookfield, I am dispatching G.A.B. staff to Waukesha County today to review the business processes and verify the reported results in the election for Supreme Court justice.  I have been in close contact with Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus since her news conference on Thursday, and have directed her to make the official returns from the polling places available for public inspection.  These documents are public records.  I believe she is now taking steps to ensure transparency and public confidence in the official results.

The G.A.B. will issue a report on the results of its review as soon as possible, and before certifying the statewide election results.

Waukesha County is not the only county where the canvass process has caught and corrected errors in the numbers reported on Election Night.  Media reports have also noted changes from the unofficial Election Night results in Milwaukee, Winnebago, Crawford, Shawano, Vernon, Rusk, Iowa, Door, Portage, and Grant counties.  G.A.B. staff is also working with those county clerks to ensure the accuracy of their results.

We have confidence in Wisconsin’s county and municipal clerks, and do not believe any of them would do anything illegal to jeopardize their own reputation, or Wisconsin’s reputation for clean, fair and transparent elections.

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Under state law, county clerks have until April 15 to complete the canvass and report their results to the G.A.B., though the Board expects that process to wrap up early next week.  The G.A.B. is posting to its website the county canvass results as they come in: http://gab.wi.gov/April5SupremeCourt. Once results from all 72 counties are in, a three-day period begins for candidates to request a recount.  Absent delays due to a recount, the Board’s deadline for certifying the final official results is May 15.
 

For more information, contact: 

Reid Magney, public information officer, 608-267-7887