Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kloppenburg 'Wins' By 204 Votes, Recount Certain, GOPers Cry 'Fraud!'

Joanne Kloppenburg has, in theory, won her race for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat currently held by conservative Republan and Governor Walker ally David Prosser, by 204 votes out of 1.5 million cast. Of course there will be a mandatory recount. And it goes almost without saying that the GOP is alleging voter fraud. But Ms. Kloppenburg is claiming victory, as indeed she should under the circumstances.

Why is this election so important? There are at least two reasons...

  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court will doubtless rule on the legality of a number of the laws the Assembly recently passed, or the procedure in passing them... e.g., the anti-public-union bill... and until now there has been a 4-3 Republan majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. If Kloppenburg's election is validated, that majority will be reversed. If you think justices are impartial in partisan matters, you haven't been even to Texas, let alone Wisconsin; both states choose judges by election rather than appointment.

  • This race is, in a way, an indicator of public reaction to Gov. Walker's anti-union policies, on which... no surprise here... he did NOT campaign in the last election. In other words, this race indicates that the public is beyond fed up with what they never voted to support, and other races... e.g., recalls of state senators... are more likely to go in favor of Democrats.

Voter fraud is a charge that is difficult to sustain for a couple of reasons, but the biggest reason is that there is no tangible motivation for a voter to commit fraud: there is no monetary profit in it (i.e., no candidate could pay a citizen enough to risk years in prison), and the number of votes one could depend on being able to change by fraud is too small to matter in most elections. About the only effective way to commit vote fraud is to hack an e-voting system, and all the e-systems I know of have been put in place by Republans. Draw your own conclusions.

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