Thursday, April 21, 2011

Recount of Votes in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Will Help to Restore Public Confidence in Democracy

Press Release
April 21, 2011

Jay Heck – 608/256-2686

Recount of Votes in Wisconsin Supreme Court Election Will Help to Restore Public Confidence in Democracy

Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg yesterday requested a statewide recount of the votes cast in the April 5th election for state Supreme Court in one of the closest elections in Wisconsin's history. Incumbent Justice David Prosser, Kloppenburg's opponent, holds a 7,316 vote lead out of more than 1.5 million cast.

Kloppenburg's decision to seek a recount - which is fully consistent with her right under state law when the margin separating two candidates is less than 0.05 after the canvass has been completed - should be respected and supported because it will help restore much needed public confidence in Wisconsin's election process and vote counting system, which was badly shaken in the aftermath of this election -- particularly in Waukesha County.

Failure to undertake a statewide recount would leave hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin voters with serious doubts about whether or not the votes in Waukesha County and elsewhere throughout Wisconsin were counted accurately and honestly.

The fact that a statewide recount may not, and likely will not, change the outcome of the election is most definitely not the point. The point is that citizens need to have full confidence that the vote totals in the election are accurate and properly reflect the will and choice of the citizens of Wisconsin.

Indeed, Justice Prosser and his campaign ought to embrace the recount rather than attempt to discourage one from occurring with belittling statements and even threats of legal action according to recent press accounts. What, exactly, do they fear from an open and transparent review of the vote totals? Prosser's victory could be tainted by persistent suspicion and doubt in the absence of such a review.

And is there anyone in the State of Wisconsin that can seriously assert that if it were Justice Prosser who trailed Ms. Kloppenburg by a margin of less than 0.05 percent of the vote total, that he and his campaign would not be entitled to and would not seek the recount that is provided for under Wisconsin law? There is absolutely no doubt that he would seek, and would be entitled to a recount.

With a substantial number of State Senate recall elections just ahead, and a Presidential election and elections for the U.S. Congress and the State Legislature looming next year, the citizens of Wisconsin need to have full confidence that all of their votes are properly and accurately counted and that in a very close outcome, such as this one, that the recount process provided for in the law is respected and supported rather than belittled and denigrated.


Jay Heck, Executive Director
Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703


Anonymous said...

I wish the recount didn't cost taxpayers so much money, but at the end of the day if voters / taxpaeyrs / citizens have more confidence in the election process & the validity of this election, then it'll be worth it.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, being a voting citizen of Wisconsin, do NOT believe that Justice Prosser would have requested a recount if he trailed/lost by the same number of votes. He would have had more respect for the voting process and the current state of the state's finances.

Anonymous said...

With everything that happened in Waukesha County - and possibly elsewhere - a recount is the only way to ensure that this, and all of our elections going forward, are clean.

The fact that Prosser assembled a high-priced legal team right after the election makes it apparent that he would certainly have requested a recount had he been the one trailing, regardless of the cost to taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Kloppenburg knows she lost. But that’s not stopping her from running up a $1,000,000 tab for a recount, is it? Now she’s just making things up — like Ann Althouse’s “prior Knowledge.” Sheesh. You people are utterly pathetic. But hey, what spending another $1,000,000 of state money and rationalizing it with lies when you’re a liberal? You know what? I hope the recount picks up even more votes for Prosser, so Kloppenburg can be even more humiliated this time around. Maybe she should declare victory again before the recount even begins. My God, imagine what if this nitwit actually DID get into office? What a train wreck.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad there is a system spelled out to have things checked over. It is often a good idea to slow down allowing for careful consideration of new information. Thank heavens the Fab 14 left the state and allowed our legislators to fully understand what all was included in the Governor's infamous 'Budget Repair Bill'. I mean even some reuplicans were glad to have time to rethink some of the bill, like the recycling issue...