WASHINGTON, April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NGOs VelvetRevolution.us and ProtectOurElections.org, whose work in the field of election integrity is national in scope, today called upon Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg to petition the state court to have the entire Supreme Court election in which she was a candidate publicly hand-counted.
Citing publicized problems with the reported results in Waukesha County — where County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus revealed she had omitted vote counts from the City of Brookfield in unofficial election night countywide totals — along with a history of inaccurate vote tabulation by electronic voting machines elsewhere in the nation, the groups assert that "There is currently no basis for public confidence in the election results."
Their letter cites a number of concerns about optical-scan tabulation systems, including a 2008 communication to the United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) from a county in Michigan reporting inconsistent tallies from one of the models of optical scan voting machines also in use in Wisconsin. That county discovered during testing that the optical-scan system was unreliable in that "The same ballots, run through the same machines, yielded different results each time."
Speaking on behalf of both organizations, project coordinator Emily Levy stated: "Given the razor-thin margin of the reported results of the April 5th election, the extraordinary events in Waukesha County, and the known vulnerabilities to both malfunction and malfeasance of the tabulation systems used in the state, all with the background of the heightened public interest in this election, only a fully public, manual hand-count of all paper ballots cast in last Tuesday's Supreme Court election can begin to ensure the citizenry of accurate results and restore confidence in their electoral system."
"This is especially important," Levy added, "given that there are likely to be multiple recall elections, conducted on the same systems, in rapid succession in the months ahead — and all as a precursor to the crucial Presidential cycle next year."
Velvet Revolution and Protect Our Elections ask JoAnne Kloppenburg to petition for a hand count on behalf of all voters. Elections rightfully belong not to the candidates but to the people. The voters of Wisconsin need Kloppenburg's representation now, as only she has the standing to petition the courts for this crucial hand count. Her action on behalf of the voters of all parties may indeed be as important an act for justice as any she might take in the role of Supreme Court Justice.