Conservative Justice Takes Wisconsin Election Lead After County Clerk Finds Uncounted Ballots

A conservative incumbent justice took the lead in a Wisconsin Supreme Court election on Thursday after the county clerk in Waukesha said workers found more than 14,000 uncounted votes.

Nearly 11,000 of those votes were for Justice David Prosser Jr., giving him a lead of more than 7,000 votes, according to Courthouse News Service, the New York Times and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Prosser is among a four-person Republican majority on the seven-member court that is expected eventually to rule on the state’s new anti-union law. His challenger had been supported by Democrats and had already declared victory, despite a thin winning margin of 204 votes at the time.

Crying during her news conference, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said the oversight was caused when she failed to save votes from the city of Brookfield on her computer. “This is human error which I apologize for,” she said.

Nickolaus has been criticized because she no longer reports municipal election results separately on election night, as many other county clerks do, the Journal Sentinel says. Auditors last year advised her to improve security and backups on the computer system.

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