MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is asking for a federal investigation into the surprise discovery of 14,000 votes in Waukesha County for the Wisconsin Supreme Court race.
Rep. Baldwin sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Friday night asking him to assign the Justice Department Integrity Section. It oversees the federal prosecution of election crimes.
Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said "human error" resulted in the miscount there. The change gave incumbent Justice David Prosser a 7,500-vote edge over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg.
Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said Saturday in an email that the department would review the letter. He declined further comment.
In the letter, Baldwin says the mishap raises serious doubts as to the integrity of the state's electoral process.
Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy said Friday he sent board staff to Waukesha County to review the county's process and verify the results. He says he has instructed Nickolaus to make returns available for public inspection and he believes she is "taking steps to ensure transparency and public confidence." The GAB held a news conference Friday afternoon and said they should have been informed as soon as Nickolaus learned of the error.
Below is the full text of Rep. Baldwin's letter:
April 8, 2011
The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
Dear Attorney General Holder:
For our democracy to endure, we, the people, must have faith in its laws and system of justice, including faith that our elections for public office are fair and free from any manipulation or tampering. Following this week's election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, numerous constituents have contacted me expressing serious doubt that this election was a free and fair one. They fear, as I do, that political interests are manipulating the results.
The following information was reported by the Associated Press with additional reporting by the Wisconsin State Journal staff, on Friday, April 8:
I share the concerns of my constituents that these reports raise serious doubts as to the integrity of the electoral process in Waukesha County and, by extension, our entire state.
To ensure that the April 5th election for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice is free, fair, and transparent, and to uphold faith in our democracy for ourselves and future generations, I ask for your immediate assistance in investigating these election inconsistencies in Wisconsin.
Specifically, I urge you to immediately assign the Justice Department Public Integrity Section, which oversees the federal prosecution of election crimes, to investigate the questionable handling of vote records in Waukesha County, Wisconsin.
We, the people, must be assured that our votes are fairly counted and reported and our democracy remains intact and untainted.
Member of Congress
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