I've never felt so distrustful of our political system as I feel now. Maybe I've just been totally naive, but I used to think my vote would be fairly counted. After all, I'm white, middle-class, and not someone who would have been targeted in voting rights attacks. Now, I'm sure I'm still not being individually targetted, but I'm feeling very distrustful about the political system in this state.
In the aftermath of the recent election, it's bad. On the night of the election, the reports were that JoAnne Kloppenburg had won the supreme court seat by a narrow margin over the incumbant David Prosser. Because the margin was so small, people around here were expecting a recount to be requested by Prosser. The state would have paid for that recount because of the small margin.
Then, the next day or so, there were reports that a County Clerk in Waukesha County, Kathy Nickolaus, had somehow missed counting a bunch of votes, 14,000 votes. And when the new count was made, Prosser was ahead by just over 7,500 votes. Interestingly enough, reports were that Nickolaus had previously worked for Prosser's election. And, interestingly enough, the 7,500 margin is just enough that if Kloppenburg will have to pay for a recount if she requests one. (I think she has requested a recount, and ActBlue is collecting money to help pay for it.) It's time for an investigation, so says Tammy Baldwin, US Rep from Wisconsin, and she's asking the US Attorney General to take it on.
Now it's coming out that, gosh, there are weird counts from AG election last time, from, yes, Waukesha County. And yes, guess who was the county clerk. And guess who won the Attorney General job for the state. Yes, the Republican candidate. Hmmmm.
There was a LOT of money spent on this election, and yes, a lot of it came from outside the state. Let's just admit that if that money had been put towards paying me, I'd be set for a good while.
Meanwhile, we also learned that William Gardner pled guilty to making illegal campaign donations through his employees. So he gets to pay a fine. That just seems wrong, doesn't it?
Remember the bill that got "passed" by the assembly without (allegedly) appropriate notification for the open meeting law? Yep, that. So, there was a stay put on that, saying that it couldn't be published. And if it can't be published, then it isn't in force as law. But then, the Republicans had it "published" by another office. And then the judge said, no, it still wasn't officially published, because the stay she'd put on it really was intended to postpone publication until she has time to make her legal decision. So, evidently, there was an appeal filed about this stay. BUT, the appeal wasn't filed by the Secretary of State, who's responsible for publishing laws, but by the Attorney General's office. And now the Secretary of State says, nope, I don't want an appeal, I never did.
Want to add a complication: the Republican lawmakers can't be sued or whatever while they're "in session" but they also can't be part of an appeals process, I'm told.
When the panic-folks who get all riled up about election fraud and wanting IDs to be shown worry, they don't worry about County Clerks throwing elections. They worry about small time fraud. Now no one wants small time, or any time fraud in our elections. But I'm way more worried about big time fraud, about County Clerks miscounting and making "human errors" in counting, because they really can throw elections.