Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said it was “human error” that resulted in more than 14,000 votes from her predominantly GOP county not being reported to the Associated Press on Tuesday. She said the most significant error occurred when she entered but did not save totals from the city of Brookfield, a suburb of Milwaukee.
“This is not a case of extra votes or extra ballots being found,” Nickolaus said. “This is human error, which I apologize for.”
Nickolaus worked for 13 years for a Republican caucus that was controlled by Prosser when he was Assembly speaker in 1995 and 1996. She was given immunity from prosecution in a 2002 criminal investigation into illegal activity by members of the caucus where she worked as a data analyst and computer specialist.
The corruption probe took down five legislative leaders, all of whom reached plea deals. Nickolaus resigned from her state job in 2002 just before launching her county clerk campaign.
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Nickolaus also has been criticized by the Waukesha County Board for her handling of past elections and lack of oversight in her operations.
An audit of Nickolaus’ handling of the 2010 election found she needed to take steps to improve security and backup procedures, including by not sharing passwords. The audit was requested after the county’s director of administration said Nickolaus had been uncooperative with attempts to have county experts review her systems and confirm backups were in place.
The surprise discovery of votes that could give Prosser the win had liberal groups crying foul.