The last few days have been rather active in Wisconsin politics as several major developments over the past few months have reached, or are coming to a conclusion.
Supreme Court recount ends, Prosser wins
The state election committee has announced that the statewide recount of April’s Supreme Court election between sitting justice, David Prosser, and challenger JoAnn Kloppenburg has come to its end with Prosser as the winner. Final tallies show that Prosser won by 7,006 votes over Kloppenburg. However, the embattled county of Waukesha, which has been a lightning rod of controversy over the past 6 six weeks required an extension to ensure that the recount was carried out in as transparent a manner as possible. County clerk Kathy Nickolaus, a former Prosser aide, recused herself from the process as it was her error that was the genesis for the uproar over the validity and authenticity of the votes. Allegations of fraud and misconduct were leveled against Nickolaus prior to and during the recount. The Kloppenburg campaign has five days to challenge the findings of the recount, and may yet do so citing several irregularities and anomalies in the process, including opened ballot bags. Current cost estimates of the recount are a least $261,000 with the final total expected to be higher.
First set of recall elections to be held on July 12th
The first round of recall elections are scheduled for the July 12th as current Republican Senators: Dan Kapanke (La Crosse), Randy Hopper (Fon du Lac), and Luther Olson (Ripon) are determined to be up for a recall election by the Government Accountability Board (GAB). Three other Republicans and three Democrats could also be directed to stand for a recall election by next week. The Republicans include: Robert Cowles (Green Bay), Alberta Darling (River Falls), and Sheila Harsdorf (River Falls). The three Democrats include: Jim Holperin (Conover), Robert Wich (Pleasant Prairie), and Dave Hansen (Green Bay).
Legislature Passes Voter ID Bill
The controversial voter ID bill passed the Legislature today amidst pronounced protest from Democratic lawmakers 19-5 along party lines. The bill requires people to show a valid photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Proponents claim that this will prevent voter fraud, while opponents of the bill claim the bill’s measures will disenfranchise students, minorities, and seniors.