“There is a history of secrecy and partisanship surrounding the Waukesha County Clerk and there remain unanswered questions,” Scot Ross, director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said in a statement.
Rep. Peter Barca, Democratic Assembly minority leader, said the mistake raises significant suspicion that could warrant an investigation.
“It doesn’t instill confidence in her competence or integrity,” Barca said.
Prosser issued a statement saying he was encouraged by various reports from counties as they began verifying the votes. He did not specifically mention the Waukesha County change.
“Our confidence is high, and we will continue to monitor with optimism, and believe that the positive results will hold. We’ve always maintained faith in the voters and trust the election officials involved in the canvasing will reaffirm the lead we’ve taken.”
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The race was so close, despite 1.5 million votes being cast, that the lead flipped back and forth repeatedly on Election Day and in the days after as preliminary totals were checked and updated.
The Government Accountability Board, which is in charge of overseeing Wisconsin’s elections, will review Waukesha County’s numbers to verify the totals, said agency director Kevin Kennedy.
Kennedy said it was unfortunate the clerk didn’t double-check the data before releasing it to the media. Kennedy also said such mistakes are known to happen but that “we just don’t see them of this magnitude.”
Nickolaus said she didn’t notice an absence of votes because her figures showed a 42 percent voter turnout, which exceeded the 30 percent turnout the county typically sees in spring elections.
“That was an amazing amount of votes,” she said. “So I had no reason to believe I was missing anything.”