What Althouse saw

Ann Althouse teaches law at the University of Wisconsin Law School and blogs at Althouse. Living in Madison, she and husband Laurence Meade (“Meade” or “New Media Meade”) provided the best coverage by far of the kinetic union action (as one Instapundit reader called it) in and around the Capitol. If you wanted to understand what was happening in Madison as Governor Walker’s budget repair bill was pending before the legislature, you had to check out her site. Glenn Reynolds observed that Althouse deserved a Pulitzer Prize for the coverage.
Althouse watched the Wisconsin Supreme Court judicial election returns come in on Tuesday night via the AP tracker displaying the returns by county. We linked to the AP tracker in “Prosser protracted.” The AP still shows challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg with a 204 vote lead over Justice Prosser with all precincts reporting.
Live blogging the returns, Althouse noticed something funny in Waukesha County:

UPDATE, 11:35: Concentrating on the AP numbers, looking at which counties still need to report, I’m irritated by the way Waukesha (strong for Prosser) and Dane (strong for Kloppenburg) seem to be holding out, like it’s a game of chicken. Right now the candidates are 50-50%, with Prosser up 6,000+. It’s been seesawing back and forth, with Kloppenburg up some of the time. To my eye, it looks as though there are more votes left to report in the places that are pro-Prosser, so I think in the end Prosser will squeak by.
UPDATE, 11:43: Dane (Madison’s county) is nearly all in. I don’t see how Kloppenburg can net more than about 3,000 with what’s left of Dane. Waukesha is now shown as completely in, but the numbers didn’t change, so I think something may have been misreported. I took the trouble to do a calculation and was going to predict that Prosser would net 40,000 more votes in Waukesha. What happened?

(Emphasis added.) Althouse was on to something. The returns from Brookfield had apparently been trapped inside the laptop of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus. Yesterday Nickolaus announced at a news conference that she failed to save on her computer and then report 14,315 votes in the city of Brookfield and omitted them in an unofficial total she released after Tuesday’s election. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, as a result Justice Prosser gained 7,582 votes over Kloppenburg, vaulting him significantly into the lead amid ongoing official counting. The new Waukesha County totals give 10,859 more votes to Prosser and 3,456 more to Kloppenburg.
The Journal-Sentinel states that the revised figures are still far from final in a race that had previously seemed almost certain to see a statewide recount. Whoever wins the judicial election, I think we can at this point declare Althouse a winner.

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