Wisconsin County That 'Found' Lost Votes Apparently Has Major Voting Irregularities For Years…

from the well,-look-at-that dept

You may recall a little over a week ago we wrote about the Wisconsin county that magically found 14,000 votes in a recent (highly contested) election, after the very partisan County Clerk — who had just been questioned for questionable methods of collecting election data — said that she had “failed to save the results” in her original report. While this followup story is now about a week old, someone just sent it over to us. Apparently that particular county, Waukesha County, has a rather stunning history of voting irregularities, including having an astounding and totally unprecedented 97.63% voter turnout rate in 2004:

Apparently in 2004 the polls in Waukesha were teeming with voters as the Waukesha County Clerk’s office showed a 97.63% turn out. No, that’s not a typo. 97.63%


Of the 236,642 registered voters in Waukesha on Nov 2, 2004 apparently 231,031 of them came out in a hint of rain and drizzle and did their civic duty.

Just to put this in perspective, Australia has compulsory (mandatory) voting and their turnout is 95%.

And it’s not just voter turnout that’s suspiciously high. Voter registrations are unprecedented as well:

In the 8 months leading into the 2004 Presidential Election there was a marginal 1.3% increase in the rolls netting about 3000 additional new voters. However in the 3 months after the election, which showed an anomalous 97.63% turn out, suddenly the rolls surged to the tune of almost 50,000 new voters and upped the rolls 20%. I suppose that’s one way to even out a suspiciously high turn out.

Furthermore, remember that first number I told you to hang on to? The 283,820 eligible voters in the county of Waukesha in July of 2004? This new surge in the voter rolls has now pushed total voter registration in Waukesha County to 99.5% of elegible voters being registered to vote by February of 2005.

99.5% of eligible voters registered? Wow.

But, let’s not stop there. The blogger who did this research also dug up the official election results data from the 2006 election in Waukesha County, and noticed that some of the elections appeared to have more votes than ballots were cast by a fairly large number:

In the race for Governor/Lieutenant Governor there were a total of 176,112 votes cast. For Attorney General there were a total of 174,047 votes cast. And for Secretary of State there were a total 170,440 votes cast.

So, look at the 3rd line of the top of that report…Total Ballots Cast: 156,804. So based on those numbers 20,000 extra votes were cast in the election that weren’t actually accounted for in the ballots cast.

To say the least, these numbers are pretty troubling if you believe in the integrity of democratic elections.

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Comments on “Wisconsin County That 'Found' Lost Votes Apparently Has Major Voting Irregularities For Years…”

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Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

No, but I have spent a fair amount of time in Waukesha County, and I used to deal with people there on a bi-annual basis (played/coached volleyball and the largest juniors tournement in the Midwest occurs there).

I promise you that these numbers are bullshit. Waukesha is no more or less educated, motivated or politically minded than any other county in Wisconsin. Basically….they kinda sorta care but not really. You’ve got a few right wing nutbars and left wing dumbasses to go along with what is mostly a community of blue-collar folks and farmers. Hell, I remember the people that worked there telling me the Center Court Sports complex where the tourney was held is one of the largest buldings in Waukesha.

Rural towns like that do NOT get near 100% voter turnout….

That Anonymous Coward says:

I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt when this initially broke. I thought there might be irregularities but rather than just accuse her of doing x to get y, both sides needed to look into it and settle it so there could be none of the finger pointing afterwards.

Seeing this new information, I think she is either incredibly stupid or incredibly corrupt. It is bad enough we have companies pouring money in to get political payback afterwards, but to find what looks like, sounds like, walks like corruption this rampant is disturbing.

I do think the people need to step up, winning side or loosing side, and demand better. This type of scandal should be the wakeup call and we should find all of the problems in this office and use them as the what not to do guidelines.

Has our political system rotted from the top down to the lowest levels now?

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Yeah, that was my reaction. It took a random blogger (who says she’s never posted on the site before) to find this?

Sure makes those millions of dollars spent so that Wolf Blitzer can appear to be floating in space amongst holographic election results look like a good investment. Really, none of the “professional” journalists ever noticed?

DCX2 says:

Re: I think this source is somewhat wrong

All that Nate Silver’s analysis demonstrates is that the 2011 voting results post-recanvassing are consistent with 2010 results. It doesn’t say anything about whether that county has consistently returned skewed results. According to the article above, this county has had voting irregularities since at least 2004.

John Doe says:

The real problem isn't the fraud...

The real problem isn’t the fraudulent voting, it is the fact that nothing will be done to those who forged the votes. Since nothing ever seems to be done to the people who are responsible for this kind of thing, there isn’t actually any reason for people not to do it. Why not fake the votes for your candidate if there are no consequences. Heck, for sharing a few songs you can be charged in excess of $600,000, but steal an election and nobody cares.

James Carmichael (profile) says:

I’m very curious as to whether there was a bias in the results towards one party rather than another? In other words, what were the *results* of the 97%-turnout vote? Was it leaning pro-Democrat or pro-Rebublican, or neutral, or maybe a hilariously named write-in got all the extra votes?

I’m not accusing either party of cheating, but after finding out such numbers, you can’t help but investigate further and find out if there was any obvious signs of corruption…

sidewinder says:

Re: Re: Re: voted democrat for POTUS

Everywhere except Waukesha County, apparently.

But, hey, this just shows that we need ID Cards to be able to vote. Because “everyone” knows that it’s the “poor” & the “colored” that engage in VOTER FRAUD & not respectable white people (read “Republicans”).

James Carmichael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 voted democrat for POTUS

Even if they issue ID Cards, they can still add a few thousand votes on top, or find another way to cheat the system. Only way to make it bulletproof is to have votes not be secret, but I brought this up in another post last week and started a shitstorm about how people would be too scared to vote.

But I mean, if you could go and look at the vote record, you could verify that:
1) Your vote was counted
2) Dead or ‘fake’ people didn’t vote
3) Nobody voted twice

In other words, something this this would never happen. But hey, privacy trumps everything apparently. That and freedom, whatever it means.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Obvious sign of corruption?

@John Doe

It may be time to do a little more reading about the Bush/Cheney election. Follow-up counting and analysis in Ohio has basically shown that the entire state election was a fraud and Bush did not actually win Ohio.

Also, I know who much Republicans hate ACORN but please keep in mind, even if all they did was commit fraud, it would still be voter registration fraud, which wouldn’t actually change the outcome of elections.

rooben (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Obvious sign of corruption?

you know that ACORN doesn’t exist, right? It was killed they lost federal funding, due to that guy making the fake video. Congress overreacted and killed funding, and ACORN collapsed.

And I love how getting poor, inner-city, and other American Citizens involved with voting for their own benefit is considered voter fraud, because they primarily don’t vote for the Republican Party; but things like this, well everyone should just sit down, shut up, its in the past we just all need to move on and accept the a&& screwing.

DCX2 says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Obvious sign of corruption?

Oh yes, the butterfly ballot, I forgot all about that.

I don’t understand why you point out that “the ballot was created by Democrats”. It sounds like you’re trying to suggest that Bush would have won by more had the evil Democrats not messed with the ballot.

But, if you actually look at the butterfly ballot, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of people are accidentally going to select Buchanan instead of Gore. About 6000 people, actually.

By the way, I stand by my statement that SCOTUS elected Bush. They stepped in and ended the recount instead of letting it finish.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Obvious sign of corruption?

See above. There was obviously foul play by someone in Ohio but no one had the guts to call it.

It was only the second time in history that they voted on a Congressional objection to an entire State’s electoral delegation in U.S. history. Of course it got no traction because no one wants to acknowledge that the election process can be that corrupt.

Not the most unbiased source but you can find dozens of others:


Lance Elms says:

About Nate Silver’s piece. It was interesting but you should read the comments, especially the newest comments. Many of the readers pointed to a number of ways that fraud could have been committed that would not have shown up in Silver’s analysis of the numbers. Perhaps one of the most compelling comments addressed long-term vote tampering.

“Part of what Nate does as an election forecaster is to look at the past performance of the districts he analyzes. If vote fraud has been occurring in those districts on a regular basis then his method will blindly include that vote fraud in his prediction of the election outcome. In short, the vote fraud is a regular element of that district?s results and thus Nate factors it into his projection, as part of his regression. Nate doesn?t even have to be aware of the vote fraud for his method to work.

But if vote fraud is a regular feature of a district?s voting pattern, then presuming that vote fraud can be detected by an abnormal result is a flawed premise.”

A state or federal examination of what has been going on in Waukesha county is a no brainer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Solution is simple...

You do what’s done in every banana-republic where elections are rigged – sack everybody involved, invalidate the results, and bring in the Canadian armed forces to monitor the polling.

The person responsible (electoral officer) should also be tried for treason. Either they were complicit, or so grossly incompetent that they need to be punished for it.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Solution is simple...

It does seem to be headed this way.

Gov. Scott Walker Reportedly Planning Financial Martial Law In Wisconsin – Rick Ungar – The Policy Page – Forbes: “Walker?s plan would resemble-if not directly mirror- the legislation signed into law by Gov. Snyder of Michigan which gives Snyder extraordinary powers to take over municipalities when he determines them to be in financial trouble, further permitting him to actually fire locally elected public officials when he deems it desirable.”

Haapi says:

Vocabulary -- Election vs. Voter fraud

Let’s keep our vocabulary straight — the issue is Election Fraud, not Voter Fraud. Election Fraud happens after the voting is over, and that’s what should be investigated in WI.

Voter fraud involves illegal voters and illegal votes, and conservatives always have their knickers in a twist about it (Voter ID, etc.). Rarely proven beyond onesy-twosy occurrences. N.B. “Mickey Mouse” never voted, even if registered by ACORN, and Coleman never even TRIED to push voter fraud as an issue in MN.

DCX2 says:

Re: Uhhh mike

Microsoft Office products auto-save. They also prompt you with a modal dialog box that cannot be ignored if you try to close without saving. And if your computer shuts down due to a power outage, the next time you start Access, it will show you the auto-save and ask if you want to restore it.

gojomo (profile) says:

This highlights one of the reasons a national popular vote (rather than the electoral college) could create more, rather than fewer, problematic situations like Bush/Gore 2000.

By the median voter theorem, the two parties will adjust themselves so that most elections tend towards a 50-50 split. A nationwide popular vote makes a few thousand votes *anywhere* potentially result-changing. Both parties have regions where their partisans dominate; both parties have some ethically-challenged-if-its-for-the-cause rank-and-file, especially at the local levels where there’s less focused media attention.

So, sneaking in a small number of votes to run up the victory totals in the most partisan, least-mentally-balanced strongholds could more easily swing the whole election. It means that instead of having to watch a few swing states very closely ? states that by definition have healthy organizations on both sides ? every single partisan outpost needs to be suspect.

In a close election, everyplace becomes Florida/Palm Beach County (or Waukesha County), simultaneously.

Anonymous Coward says:

Being from the Milwaukee area, I’m not at all surprised, except by the fact that they did so basically nothing to cover up or reconcile the numbers. I Know when Baby Bush was running the first time in 2000, it wasn’t uncommon to hear about people voting for Gore 16 times or more. Voter fraud up there is outrageous, though, I can’t say for sure if anywhere else is better or worse…

Bob in Zion says:

Vote in Waukesha County

Not sure about the turn out numbers. However, in 2004 and 2006 (and 2008,2010, and 2011) the some of the numbers don’t match because a few of the larger communities chose to buy a different voting system than most of the other communities. So many times the numbers the media got were missing places like New Berlin’s votes, because their system wouldn’t talk to anyone elses.

Frost (profile) says:

Only a fool believes...

Only a jackass would believe in such a thing as the integrity of Democracy. In fact, only a fool believes that Democracy is anything but “choose which dictator you like for the next four years from these two corporate-owned candidates we’ve pre-selected for you”.

There is no such thing as an actual Democracy. That’s just window dressing over a world that’s run by the people with money…

J. SMith says:

The math looks fine to me

New count gives Prosser lead after Waukesha County inputting error
Apr 8, 2011 … The new totals showed Prosser with 92263 votes in Waukesha County, while
Kloppenburg had 32758. County totals previously showed Prosser with …

host.madison.com/…/article_6386782e-614f-11e0-97e5-001cc4c002e0.html – Cached – Similar.

Only ~125,xxx votes cast in Waukesha county. Roughly 50%. turnout.

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