Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Upon further review, some odd Supreme Court votes from GB

So I dug through the updated and official figures from the Government Accountability Board, and found some interesting results when it came to turnout and vote totals in the State Supreme Court race.

These numbers differ from what gets reported on Election Night, as they reflect items like provisional ballots, mistyped numbers, and other (usually minor) changes. The presidential race was largely unchanged from what you saw on Election Night (Trump’s share of the GOP total shrunk by 0.1% and Sanders won by a slightly larger margin), but what immediately jumped at me was this disparity in the Supreme Court race.

Election Night report
Bradley 1,017,083
Kloppenburg 925,836

Post-canvass result
Bradley 1,024,892 (+7,809)
Kloppenburg 929,377 (+3,541)

All of a sudden, Rebecca Bradley’s winning margin jumped by over 4,200 votes! That led me to drill down into the county numbers to try to find out why. And the reason became quite apparent.

Brown County results, Supreme Court, April 2016
Election Night
Bradley 47,843
Kloppenburg 34,705

Official Canvass results
Bradley 52,789 (+4,946)
Kloppenburg 34,854 (+149)

Well there you go. Strangely, I’ve tried to find news reports out of Green Bay asking how Bradley got a Prosser-esque 5,000 more votes in Brown County than was reported on the night of April 5, and can’t find anything. Doubly odd is that there were only 392 additional votes that were reported in the president race, so it wasn’t a “miss” for all of the races on the ballot. It’s probably paranoia talking, but there should be an explanation nonetheless.
(EDIT: There is an explanation in the comments page. It's a typo. The stats below will reflect this update).

As to the turnout totals, they weren’t all that different than a typical pattern for a statewide Wisconsin election.

Top 10 counties, Supreme Court turnout April 2016
Dane County 11.15%
Waukesha Co. 8.33%
City of Milwaukee 7.48%
Rest of Milwaukee Co. 6.81%
Brown County 4.25%
Outagamie Co. 3.13%
Racine County 3.04%
Winnebago Co. 2.98%
Washington Co. 2.65%
Rock County 2.48%

When I compare that to the 2014 Governor's election turnout (noted in this post), Dane County's share jumps by 0.68%, and Brown County's numbers also go up (slightly). On the flip side, the City of Milwaukee's share goes down by more than 1% (strange given the Mayor, Aldermanic and County Exec races that day) and Racine County drops behind Outagamie County in turnout.

From there, I wanted to look at which areas had the highest “dropoff” numbers, where people voted in the presidential election, and did not vote in the Supreme Court election. This was a source of much debate in the days following the debate, so I wanted to go to the numbers to see what they said. And there was one county in particular that had a ton of people leave the Supreme Court election part of the ballot blank.

Highest “dropoff” counties
Statewide 8.21%
St. Croix Co. 21.25%
Douglas Co. 17.04%
Pierce Co. 13.83%
Kenosha Co. 13.64%
Ashland Co. 12.36%
Florence Co. 12.34%
Burnett Co. 11.90%
Iron County 10.90%
Bayfield Co. 10.83%

All of these counties are in the corners of the state, where the main media market that is followed may not be out of Wisconsin. And while I won’t go too much into it here, these are some of the counties that Kloppenburg most overperformed in, where she grabbed a higher percentage of the vote than the GOP vs. Dem split on the presidential ballot would indicate. That data points to interesting opportunities for the future for both sides.

Now let’s look at the flipside of this stat.

Lowest “dropoff” counties
Statewide 8.21%
Oconto Co. 1.90%
Kewaunee Co. 2.53%
Menominee Co. 2.92%
Waushara Co. 3.00%
Marquette Co. 3.03%
Taylor County 3.04%
Langlade Co. 3.38%
Jackson Co 3.39%
Vernon Co. 3.56%

There’s Northeastern Wisconsin again, the part of the state that really won the election for Bradley. This makes Bradley’s big win, and the fact that she overperformed the Dem vs. GOP split in the presidential race by 4% all the more important and….interesting.

I’ll go back into that “Dem vs. GOP” split and its effect on the race at a later point. But these finalized turnout figures give a lot of insight into what things looked like on April 5, and where it may hold (or not hold) in 6 months.


  1. Very disappointing to see you post "It’s probably paranoia talking" when you claim to be a specialist in numeric analysis. There are always anomolies that violate basic laws of large numbers in Wisconsin races -- Walker stole at least 2 elections.

    Here's the related posts at highly qualified quantitative analyst Richard Charnin's blog:

    1. Sorry, but I have to say that I think Charnin is a hack.

      He assumes that no exit polls ever have systematic error, that people have perfectly accurate recollection of their prior voting record, that discrepancies between the Current Population Survey's totals and recorded vote totals must mean stuffed ballot boxes rather than any modest psychological effect of people liking to think that they vote more regularly than they actually do. When asked about this he cites the results of his own model that uses this assumption as proof of it.

      Whether he's right about anything or not is accidental since he's uninterested in testing such assumptions that he makes but omits to draw any attention to.

      For a concrete example take the 2011 Supreme Court recount: because of the technical limitations of Optec Eagles the recount for those municipalities had to be done by hand. That's on top of the counties that used hand-counted paper ballots at the time anyway. The exclusively hand-recounted counties look very bad for Charnin. His model simply doesn't survive contact with reality when tested, but he breezes on with it regardless.

  2. You need to read his book, "Matrix of Deceit: Forcing Pre-Election and Exit Polls to Match Fraudulent Vote Counts"

    The "red shift" skewing races across America is real. Richard Charnin is not the only qualified analyst to find this. Brownback is stealing elections in Kansas and this is happening in Ohio and Michigan (and other states).

    Gerrymandering and voter suppression provide cover, but the real culprit is the Help America Vote Act that was pushed through after George "Chimpy" Bush stole the 2000 election and then had the SCOTUS anoint him king (2004 can be objectively demonstrated as stolen as well).

    But this is all covered in Charnin's book. There is no change in Wisconsin or across America until we demand free, open, fair, transparent, and verifiable elections. The data you get from GAB cannot be verified or even audited in any meaningful way and it groups voting wards to make it more difficult to statistically analyze.

  3. Just noticed the same thing last night re: St. Croix County, the spreadsheet's still up on my computer...

    St. Croix County
    Total republican presidential primary vote - 17091 (Cruz 6900, Trump 6700)
    Rebecca Bradley vote - 12475

    OTOH Kloppenburg's vote is almost exactly equal to the Dem turnout (Kloppenburg 10319, Dem presidential vote 10664)

    Trying to figure out what the implications might be for fall elections, especially downticket.

    1. I may well discuss this in the near future, FYI

  4. "[...] What the implications might be for fall elections..."

    It means the fix is in! Remember, in 2012, the network returns all had Mitt Romney CRUSHING Obama when they started reporting results.

    A friend of mine, working at a Dane County polling location, got a call at 8:25 from an attorney working with Obama. They needed to know what the precinct's results were showing because the media was preparing to call Wisconsin for Mitt Romney!

    And if you were watching the returns, the state got called for Obama, but the television coverage I saw still had Wisconsin in the "red" column for Romney.

    Please think about it -- the media and republicans want us to believe that Wisconsin, in a state-wide race, swung more than 15 points from repug to dem in 3 months! This certainly did not happen.

    It is not plausible to assume Scott Walker wont he recall with a margin of +7% and then in November, Obama won Wisconsin with an 8% margin.

    Likewise, Wisconsin was reported to be the end-of-the-line for Trump. #NeverTrump, put together by the same right-wing hate radio hacks that shamelessly promote Scott Walker and his sham "wins" at the ballot box, could not have been legitimate.

    Donald Trump crushed Cruz in every other state after this -- #NeverTrump was just a media charade and it is highly unlikely that it legitimately swung Wisconsin from Trump.

    But this is how the game is played -- election fraud is only feasible if massive amounts of money (in Wisconsin, out-of-state funds) are used to blanket the airwaves with propaganda. The purpose is to create an aura of invincibility and, in the public's mind, justify non-verifiable vote count.

    Please remember, everyone, Chimpy stole the 2000 election -- subsequent audits proved Al Gore won Florida. The SCOTUS was used to prevent a timely and honest vote count. "w" was anointed, not elected.

    2016 will see the same situation, a lame-duck President that will likely stand down for election fraud just like Bill Clinton did (there's another story there, but will not go into details now).

    Has anyone considered that refusing to even consider an Obama SCOTUS appointment is in order to prevent a likely 5-4 decision to overturn a stolen election!

    And remember, a 4-4 tie means the lower court's ruling stand. It will not be hard for republicans to find a wing-nut judge that claims jurisdiction to hear the near certain legal challenges that the upcoming November fiasco will create.

    Will the repugs use their "red shift" computer algorithms to steal the White House for Donald Trump? The will get most of what they want from Hillary Clinton, a war-monger, bankster ally, and in-favor of privatizing Social Security (she will do so under the guise of a "compromise" -- you know, to "get something done").

    If you thought 2000 was a sham (and it can be proven as-such), 2016 will be the biggest con-job you will see!

    In Wisconsin, the fix is in -- but please be sure to follow Richard Charnin's work.

    1. Ive mentioned Charnin's theories on here before. They're intriguing, but I also know if the fix was truly in, the Kochs wouldn't throw all the money into elections that they do.

      But there is definitely something happening in NE Wis, legit or otherwise, that is helping Republicans. And it needs to be looked into closely by the DPW with a big House race there this November.

    2. You do not understand Charnin's work then. It is PRECICELY BECAUSE the fix is in that the Koch's have to throw so much money in.

      Please buy Richard's book and read it -- it takes massive amounts of propaganda to keep people from talking about secret, proprietary vote totals that cannot be verified in any meaningful way.

      FWIW: Richard has outstanding credentials to do the analysis he does. While now retired, his quantitative analysis and computer modeling skills were highly successful and valuable to NASA and certain Wall Street interests.

      It is disappointment that, without even understanding Richard's work, you throw out the canard that koch money proves he is wrong -- you have this backwards -- the money is actually an indication that Charnin is right.

      I follow your blog because most of your posts are informed -- you are way off-base on this one though. Please look at some facts and Richard's work before you dismiss when you have obviously not caught the foundation of his work.

      I assume you mean well here, but contempt prior to investigation is wrong and I would expect more from liberal bloggers.

  5. Keep that eagle eye trained on things, Jake!

    Looking into the GAB ward-by-ward count and the Brown County ward-by-ward count, I have concluded that it was the GAB that fubared this one.

    The Village of Ashwaubenon Wards 3-4 went Kloppenburg - Bradley by 349 - 533; in the GAB they have it 349 - 5333, adding 4,800 votes to Bradley's total (the addition to get the county totals is good in both cases).

    The 2010 census population of the two wards was 2,732. I have just alerted Michael Haas, the GAB's Elections Division Administrator.

    1. Between this and the note you have below, it looks like we broke some news here! Well done yourself on the follow-up!

    2. It's actually worse than 2011's Kathy "oops my spreadsheet" Nickolaus because this one made it all the way through certification rather than being an unofficial election night initial report lapse.

      Bad Brown County Clerk Sandy Juno, bad! (and the GAB could stand to implement some sanity checks too).

    3. Actually what's weird is that the extra votes weren't reported on Election Night, then were typo'ed in as the Brown Co Clerk canvassed, and the GAB didn't catch it.

      Doesn't really help my skepticism about the numbers as they come in.

  6. And now I have received this response indicating that it's due to the Brown County Clerk's office making a typo which they discovered themselves, notified the GAB about and it's in the process of being corrected:

    Dear Mr. GeoffT,

    Thank you for contacting the Government Accountability Board regarding the Brown County results for the Supreme Court election on April 5th. The results listed on our website are the certified results which Brown County provided to our office following the County’s canvass of the official results. Earlier this week the Brown County Clerk’s Office notified us that they had discovered an error in the official results for Ashwaubenon due to an extra digit being recorded to Rebecca Bradley’s total. At that time, the Clerk’s Office corrected the results on the County’s website. We advised the County Clerk that the results should not be changed until the County Board of Canvassers reconvenes to document the error and certify the corrected results, as required by Wisconsin Statutes.

    The Board of Canvassers met yesterday afternoon and the County submitted the corrected results to our office following that meeting. We need to provide 24 hours’ public notice of a time at which the new certified results will be signed by a member of our Board, which we are in the process of doing now. The official results on our website will be changed when the certification is signed. Our website currently lists the official results which have been certified to date.

    I hope that helps to answer your question, but please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions.

    Michael Haas
    Elections Division Administrator
    Wisconsin Government Accountability Board