As of the end of the day yesterday, with 75.43% of the reporting units and just under 70%, of the votes recounted, JoAnne Kloppenburg has picked up … (drum roll please) … 210 votes.

Based on the Kloppenburg-O-Meter’s estimate of daily cost of the recount, these 210 votes will have cost Wisconsin taxpayers a little over $600,000.

But fear not.  The recount uncovered improper absentee ballots filled out by suspicious characters.

The cloistered Cistercian nuns from the Valley of Our Lady Monastery in Prairie du Sac, WI, have had their absentee ballots thrown out — over the protests of the Prosser camp — for lack of witness signatures.

As reported by JSOnline:

The recount for the state Supreme Court race has come to this: Votes from nuns have been thrown out.

The twist in the race between Justice David Prosser and challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg came during the recount in Sauk County. There, ballots of Cistercian nuns from the Valley of Our Lady Monastery in Prairie du Sac were rejected.

The nuns live a contemplative, monastic life and support themselves by baking and distributing altar breads, according to their website.

On Friday, during the recount, it was noted that witness signatures were missing from 18 absentee ballots from the Town of Sumpter, where votes from the monastery are counted.

“Eighteen applications did not have a witness signature,” said Alene Bolin, assistant corporation counsel for Sauk County. “I don’t think all 18 were from the monastery. I think it has turned into, there were 18 nuns but I do remember one of the ballots was not from the convent.”

“They’re cloistered nuns,” Bolin said. “So the clerk (Donna Ziegler) dropped off an envelope with all the absentee ballots and applications with them. On the day of the election, she picked them up and dropped them off at the polling place. The absentee ballots were opened there and counted. During the recount it was discovered that there was no witness signature.”

Because canvassers were unable to match the actual ballots to the voter, they took all 24 absentee ballots from the Town of Sumpter and randomly drew 18, which were then set aside and not counted. Of those ballots, Prosser had 14 while Kloppenburg had four.

This is, perhaps, the single greatest achievement of the Kloppenburg recount, with Kloppenburg picking up a net 10 votes.

What utter nunsense.

Update 5-6-2011:  At the end of yesterday, with 79.46% of reporting units and just under 75% of votes recounted, Kloppenburg holds steady at a net gain of 220 votes.  Kloppenburg needs to pick up 7,096 votes to catch up to Prosser.  Are there even that many cloistered nuns in Wisconsin?  If not, Kloppenburg’s chances look like a dim lighbulb on a foggy country road.

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