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Waukesha County Clerk Embroiled in Controversy for Years

Kathy Nickolaus has seen "human error" from her office during prior elections.

With Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus announcing she made an error on election night, which flipped the results of the Wisconsin Supreme Court race to favor incumbent Justice David Prosser, some residents are asking questions as to how often this happens.

But for Nickolaus this isn’t the first time she has found herself embroiled in controversy.

In 2010, Nickolaus and Waukesha County Board Chairman Jim Dwyer and county Department of Administration officials feuded about an audit of her election system. The audit stated Nickolaus is keeping election results on a personal computer as opposed to a county system.

Nickolaus said she kept the results on the personal computer because of security concerns she had with the network. She and Dwyer got into a row at a committee meeting while discussing the findings of the audit.

After announcing the error of omitting votes from Brookfield before giving the results to the media during Tuesday’s election, Nickolaus said the issues addressed in the audit weren’t the reasons for the flipping of the vote and it was simply “a human error.”

Nickolaus and Dwyer didn’t return phone calls seeking comment Friday.

In 2006, Nickolaus found herself in a similar situation as now when computer equipment in her office briefly showed Waukesha Taxpayers League President Chris Lufter beating then Waukesha County Supervisor Bill Kramer in the 97th Assembly District Republican primary race.

Nickolaus told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the time that data was inexplicably put in the wrong columns when it was transferred from the Waukesha city clerk’s office and the results had to be entered by hand.

In 2005, Nickolaus was subject to scrutiny during the special election to replace Waukesha County Executive Dan Finely when sample ballots she submitted to area newspapers included a mark showing a vote for Dwyer, who ran against then-state Rep. Dan Vrakas.

Nickolaus apologized for the incident and told media outlets it was “human error.”

Prior to being elected county clerk in 2002, Nickolaus worked as a staffer in the Republican Caucus at the state Capitol that fueled the caucus scandal where both Republican and Democratic lawmakers were convicted of using staff to campaign using state equipment.

Several lawmakers served time in prison for their roles in the scandal, however, Nickolaus was given immunity in exchange for her cooperation in the investigations.

Prosser had been part of the Republican Assembly Caucus prior to being appointed to the Supreme Court by former Gov. Tommy Thompson, which has fueled further questions by Democrats in the revelation of the unreported votes.

Tbone April 14, 2011 at 04:41 AM
Ha yeah. I do enjoy a good drunken internet political rant/ramble. As for the pitchforks and protesters, how do you protest gas prices? BY NOT BUYING IT! Why do you think there are so many mopeds (most per capita in America) and hybrids (most per capita in America) and bicycles bike/paths (most per capita in America) in Dane county? Because we are about solutions, not blame. And if some idiot hadn't given away 800 million dollars to build a train then there would be even more options that didn't involve buying gas. What did he say he was going to do with the money? Fix the roads? Oh wait, he lied about that. He knew that money was only for a train (and jobs) and that he couldn't use it for roads but he lied anyway. And then 2 weeks ago he wanted money from the federal government to build a train? And then this week it turns out the guy who would have profited from that train money illegally bribed Walker when he was running? It starts to make sense huh? And how about that 3 time DUI kid he hired at 80k+ a year to pay back another guy who "donated" to him? All Walker has done in his first 100 days is pay back the fat cats who own him and take revenge on the middle class that didn't vote for him and people smarter than him because he is jealous that they didn't get kicked out of college for cheating like he did. How do you people defend his actions? I am curious.
lavelle April 14, 2011 at 04:46 AM
wow i did not know that the train guy (whom would've benefited owned the amtrak to chicago) or the hiawatha!!
lavelle April 14, 2011 at 04:52 AM
thanks for spining me around i now realize that i, too, have enough dual standards to be a democrat
bescher April 14, 2011 at 07:35 AM
TBONE You libs can't get it through your thick skulls that that the first count on Tuesday was for the media. It had absolutely nothing to do with the official count. And speaking of cheating there tbone. What about ACORN? What about the milwaukee county dems, who slashed tires (the son of a mayor or the relative of a US congresswomen weren't they? Oh yes and Democrats on top of it) So talking about cheating and breaking the law? You got that out of the Sal Alinksy playbook.
bescher April 14, 2011 at 07:39 AM
Ah yes TBONE a true liberal. The bad words are spewing. So you want to pay 7 million dollars a year on a train that isn't high speed, will have very few riders mainly because there isn't a good place that it would stop at in Madison. But yeah you want to spend my money. So how is the business making good money are you? How are your taxes? Just to let you know The worst cities in the US that are in need of bailouts (including Mlwaukee are all run by liberals

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