The recount in Wisconsin is moving along pretty much as expected given the history of recounts in Wisconsin: There hasn’t been much change in the vote count.
As of the end of the day yesterday, with 82% of the voting units in, and 78% of the votes recounted, Kloppenburg has picked up a couple hundred votes. (added) 262 to be precise.
But the Kloppenburg folks have focused their efforts on Waukesha County, and particularly the city of Brookfield, which went heavily for Prosser.
The mistake of the County Clerk in not reporting any votes from Brookfield to the AP on election night, which was discovered the next day, has led to false charges that the votes were “found.” In fact, the votes were reported publicly by Brookfield on election night, and a review by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) found no wrongdoing.
Nonetheless, Kloppenburg’s tactic is to try to throw out much if not all of Brookfield, based on supposed improper sealing of vote bags.
As reported by WisPolitics, the slightest deviation in the sealing of a vote bag is being used by Kloppenburg to challenge all the votes in the bag, a tactic which initially has been rejected by a supervising judge but which could lead to challenges in court:
JoAnne Kloppenburg’s campaign today again raised objections to ballot bags that were not properly sealed, raising concerns about the integrity of those ballots.
The objections raised today pertained to bags containing Brookfield votes, and Bill Hotz, representing the Kloppenburg campaign, objecting to the first five bags to be counted. They showed holes along the top, on either side of the bags’ seals, along with some seals that were pulled apart.
In addition, the numbers on two of the bags did not match those on inspectors’ election night logs.
“The integrity of the ballot count is only as good as the integrity of condition of the bags,” he said.
The five bags in the second batch were much better sealed, but none of them had seal numbers, although the bag tag numbers did match the inspectors’ logs. Kloppenburg’s campaign asked that it be noted for the record that there was no evidence the bags were sealed.
But in each case, retired Circuit Court Judge Robert Mawdsley, who was brought in to oversee the recount, allowed the ballots to be counted.
Today’s objections continue a string of concerns that the Kloppenburg campaign has raised about the handling of the votes in Waukesha County.
The Prosser folks seem on the ball so I doubt this will succeed for Kloppenburg, but succeeding likely isn’t the goal.
The goal is to try to create the appearance of impropriety as a justification either for court challenges or at least to taint the Prosser win.
Update: A reader who has seen some of the supposedly improperly sealed bags e-mailed me to make the point that the ballots could not fit through any of the gaps or small openings.