I’ll take a slightly less suspicious stance than Lee on the remarkable turn-around we saw yesterday in the Wisconsin Supreme court race.
People make mistakes. All the time.
The whole idea of canvassing under the scrutiny of public observers is to figure out the intentions of every single voter, and make sure the votes are counted correctly. Shit happens…tallies change. Yesterday we learned that, because of a data entry error in a Republican-leaning county, Prosser was shorted some 7,582 votes in his contest with Kloppenburg.
Do I believe it? Yes, I do.
Seriously…I believe a whole string of innocent human errors are a far more parsimonious explanation than systematic voter fraud, lying, deceit, ballot stuffing, etc. for the plethora of vote changes that have occurred over the last two days Yeah…I believe that—even when the conservative nut-cases come out ahead—it is true until concrete evidence shows elsewise.
So…to paraphrase the words of an overrated person with senile dementia who was once was propped up as “President,” “I’ll trust, but please verify.”
And sure…the most likely outcome of this election isn’t nearly as satisfying as we thought two days ago, but it really doesn’t change what I said on Wednesday:
So, who really wins…Workers or Walker? Given the closeness of this race, it will be hard for either side to make too much over the eventual winner. That said, the expectation that a incumbent should win such a race means that a Kloppenburg win, and maybe even a very close loss, provides modest evidence that Wisconsin voters have joined with their Milwaukee county brethren to give Gov. Walker a collective thumbs down.
If one recognizes the fact that Prosser dominated with a 2:1 margin over Kloppenburg in the four-way primary, only to have that margin cut down to a slim advantage in the general election…yeah, I can find solace in that as the outcome.
All that aside, check this out:
The Brookfield bombshell was the biggest – but hardly the only – change as counties across the state checked their election results Tuesday. Here’s a sample:
- In Winnebago County, officials now say Prosser received 20,701 votes to Kloppenburg’s 18,887. On Wednesday, The Associated Press – which gathers the votes for most of the media in Wisconsin – had 19,991 for Prosser to Kloppenburg’s 18,421.
- In Kenosha, Prosser picked up 33 votes in the Town of Randall and 27 votes in the Town of Bristol, and the canvass is still going on.
- In Waukesha County, Prosser also picked up 200 votes in New Berlin after a clerical error was discovered.
- In Grant County, Prosser lost 116 votes when officials completed their canvass Thursday. The count was off in part because the Town of Smelser incorrectly reported the count for paper ballots that voters cast after the regular ballots ran out, County Clerk Linda Gebhardt said. The town reported 294 votes for Prosser, but later corrected the figure to 194.
The list of changes rolled on in county after county…
Let me ask you. If these discrepancies were reported to advantage the (perceived) Democrat, what do you s’pose would happen?
Yeah…the Wingnut spin machine would go absolutely, fucking, out-of-their-gourd bonkers! They would go on a witch hunt against anyone and everyone who made “hostile” corrections to the vote tallies. They would launch a holy crusade against Democratic stronghold counties, ACORN, Planned Parenthood, NPR, George Soros, Michael Fox, the Clintons and certain Teletubbies. We’d hear about roving bands of ballot-stuffers, mailbox dwellers, illegal alien voters, Black Panther intimidators, and Democrat-loving felons voters.
We’d hear references Dean Logan ad nauseum.
In other words, the apoplectic right-wing propagandists would do everything they could do to stir up negative emotions by undermining our system of elections. They would consider their victory so important that they would fabricate lies and hatred about our elections process. (You know…kind-of like Hitler would do.)
You ask how I can make such a claim—practically calling ’em traitors? Because that is what they did in 2004 in Washington state. And then, again, in 2008 in Minnesota. You know, like the 157 different “findings of fact” alleged by Coleman, of which, ohhh…all 157 were tossed out by the courts. The Coleman’s people (like Rossi’s) made the calculation that grasping for a win—even at the cost of damaging our democracy—was more important than truth and reality.
So I will maintain the dignified stance that this Wisconsin election is typical—clean, overall, but with a few errors along the way that can and will (rightfully) be corrected.
And the next time the Democrats squeak one out and some right-wing asshole starts trashing our Democracy and promoting doubts about our electoral system…I may have to shoot him in the fucking head.