Despite weeks of her campaign suggesting that “ballot bag security” issues tainted the election, JoAnne Kloppenburg decided not to pursue a court challenge.
As described here many times, the ballot bag security issue never raised any serious concerns about either election fraud or mishandling of ballots. Kloppenburg also raised other “anomalies,” such as votes changing in almost every district, but again, there never was any evidence of anything other than the routine sorts of small errors which can take place in any election. Indeed, the reason there is a recount process is because a recount may result in small changes in vote totals, although never on the 7000+ vote scale Kloppenburg would have needed to win.
Nonetheless, Kloppenburg gave a press conference conceding the race in which she again focused on ballot bag security issues (full press conference video is here):
In lieu of a court challenge, Kloppenburg promised a detailed letter to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, setting forth the problems and solutions.
The letter Kloppenburg sent, however, simply listed issues, such as better ballot bags and better training, which hardly were unexpected or novel.
Most important, Kloppenburg admitted in her letter that there was no evidence of fraud:
It is important to note that in the minutes there is scant evidence of voter fraud, namely individuals trying to fraudulently cast a vote. However, there is ample evidence of the opportunity for malfeasance or mistakes in tabulating or reporting the election results, due to the lack of consistency and compliance with elections processes.
Kloppenburg submitted a chart with the letter which purported to document the vote changes as a result of anomalies, including ballot bag security issues:
My campaign has reviewed the thousands of pages of minutes generated by the recount. Attached to this letter is a chart that summarizes the nature and the scope of some of the irregularities, anomalies and mistakes that the recount process uncovered and the minutes reveal. To the extent that in some counties the minutes do not address the kinds of irregularities identified in this table, or that in other counties observers were not able to see the ballots being counted by machine, this table reflects the very minimum occurrence of issues that compromise the integrity of the way in which votes are counted across the state.
Here is the chart. It shows a total of 1060 votes statewide which were changed (it is unclear in whose favor) when the anomalies (including ballot bag security issues) were addressed:
Despite spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on a recount which had no possibility of changing the result, and despite spending weeks having her campaign cast aspersions on various election officials, the Prosser campaign, and the election process, Kloppenburg had nothing to show for it.
JoAnne Kloppenburg could have been gracious in her concession. Instead, she sought to diminish David Prosser’s win, and failed to come to grips with the fact that there was no there there.