Kathy Nickolaus strikes again!

He’s only about a year and a half late, but Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas says he’s ready to “make changes to restore the people’s faith and confidence in the election reporting in Waukesha County.” At least, that’s what he told Larry Sandler of the Journal Sentinel after Tuesday’s revelation that Kathy Nickolaus made changes to Waukesha County software before the April election, is refusing to disclose what those changes were, and that whatever she did is going to cost Waukesha County taxpayers $256,300 to fix.

From the Journal Sentinel:

Sometime after final testing of Waukesha County’s election software – but before the April election – County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus mysteriously changed something in her office’s computer programming, according to a consulting firm’s report released Tuesday.

Only Nickolaus knows what she did. The consultants can’t figure it out, and she’s not talking.

But whatever she did, it caused a breakdown in reporting election results that will cost county taxpayers $256,300 to fix, the report says.

Vrakas had ordered this independent report after the April 3, 2012 election snafu when Nickolaus didn’t post results online, as promised, and reporters had to tabulate the results themselves from paper tapes stuck to the walls. Details were revealed in the report:

SysLogic found Nickolaus had ordered an upgrade of election software, and after that upgrade, she was the only one trained to program the election computers.

When the reporting system failed, Nickolaus had said she was “shocked,” because it had been tested repeatedly.

But, the report says, Nickolaus made a programming change between the end of testing and election night.

“It is unclear what changed in the programming of the (election) software, but something was changed in the ballot program,” the report says. “The county clerk acknowledged that a change took place, but did not specify what was changed.”

But wait, there’s more:

Another issue is that many voting machines do not have a federally approved modem to transmit results electronically to the clerk’s office, the report says. That means municipal clerks must bring voting machines’ memory packs to county offices on election night, the report notes.

In 2008, Nickolaus proposed spending $600,000 in the 2009 budget to buy 100 new voting machines from Sequoia Voting Systems, but then withdrew that request, the report says. Cummings said the project died after the county purchasing office told Nickolaus she had to seek competitive proposals for a contract that size.

The result is that Waukesha County will now need to spend even more money to upgrade hardware so it’s in federal compliance before the 2014 gubernatorial election, since Nickolaus didn’t upgrade the system in 2009 when she had the chance.

Nickolaus has touted her 15 years of experience in computer programming. That included 13 years working for Assembly Republicans, where she was granted immunity and later cleared of ethics violations during the 2001 investigation into campaigning on state time.

By the way, Kathy Nickolaus’ term is not up until December 31, 2012. She has refused to step down before then, despite numerous calls for her resignation in the form of protests.

And though she had said she would cede her election night duties to her deputy clerk, Kelly Yaeger, on May 8 2012, by many accounts, she did not appear to do so (report here). And she seemed very much in charge on June 5, 2012, too.

Will she “not be in charge” of upcoming elections, as well?

Who knows.

For his part, Dan Vrakas said on Tuesday that he is disappointed by Kathy Nickolaus’ behavior and that he’s “sorry that it has come to this point.”

Welcome to the club, Mr. Vrakas.



Related Articles

17 thoughts on “Kathy Nickolaus strikes again!

  1. so kathy made changes before election, cost taxpayers more than a quarter million, and she thinks she does not need to talk about it? and her “mistakes” reelects a judge that calls another judge a bitch, and he chokes a judge , and he backs a gov who is being investigated. this is “your taxes at work” we are all paying and all the money goes to the top 1% If you’re not in the tpo 1% you’re working for them!

  2. OK it doesn’t take much to find out one possible reason KN wanted Sequoia machines. It’s really time to start looking at the real vote fraud.

  3. As a computer programmer…first rule…you NEVER install software into production that hasn’t been thoroughly tested, user tests documented and saved, and sign off from the users…of course in this case Kathy N is judge, jury and executioner…I would think there is some criminal liability here.

  4. Aaron, no the weather chanel is not me. I am just a taxpayer in the 99% group. why is KN still allowed to work in the job she scerwed up , she should be under investigation, in jail, where she can cause no more damage, and plus pay a fine for the $ she cost the tax payers, over a 1/4 million. Someone please tell us, no one has an answer for this; Who will pay for the baby boom if pro life gets the’re way ??? will the children be neglected??? hope someone has the answer, and tell us how to help the people this will impact. and I want to hear more than your own adgenda!

    1. Well, there is a former on-air personality for The Weather Channel that shares the same name as you. I apologize for the confusion.

      I’m from Illinois, and Waukesha County, Wisconsin’s Kathy Nickolaus is the single most corrupt, dishonest, and morally bankrupt local government official in the entire United States. Nickolaus has been a disgrace to the people of Waukesha County, and has given Waukesha County a negative reputation. Nickolaus should have to stand trial for her criminal actions as Waukesha County Clerk. It’s people like Nickolaus that are the reason that many people have no confidence in our electoral system, and that fundamentally undermines our system of representative government. I view voting as a vital civic duty, and corrupt election administration officials like Nickolaus are a direct threat to our system of elections.

      Also, Cheryl, I am a supporter of reproductive rights. I believe that people should have the right to make their own medical decisions, and that includes the decision of whether or not a woman should have her pregnancy terminated.

  5. WHY CAN’T SOMEONE FIRE HER? I realize she was elected, but she is about as crooked as they come! There should be an avenue with which to do something about her bizarre behavior!

  6. Election fraud,plain and simple,but allowed by the current regime as long as she plays for the right team,right Mr.Prosser?

  7. thanks Aaron for your answer I thought for a while that you were on her side , and trying to throw off the focus from K.N. like investigating me. Keep the pressure on K. N. and on canidate Romney who refused to release his tax records. and on gov.walker who refused to release his walkergate info. see a pattern here? president Obama released his birth certifigate as requested, nothing to hide.! so why should we allow double standards? in our gov.

    1. Cheryl, the Republican Party is built on the values of corruption, greed, power, hypocrisy, lies, racism, sexism, and secrecy. They don’t care about working-class people, women, minorities, the elderly, the disabled, or anyone else they disagree with. I don’t value anything that the Republican Party stands for.

      Also, I’m not going to move to Wisconsin to run for Governor in 2014. I live in Illinois, and I’m not going to carpetbag my way into Wisconsin simply to run for public office. However, we need to keep the pressure on people like Nickolaus, Walker, and Romney, as they are dishonest, corrupt, reckless, and thuggish.

  8. Nickolaus was also the conduit through which Command Central offerred 46 counties a swap deal of 2 new DRE (touchscreen) voting machines for 1 optical scanner, free. That was a potential offer of 6000 machines at a cost of about $9M from a two person, husband and wife company operating out of the same strip mall in Minnesota where Michelle Bachman has her campaign headquarters. The touchscreens, of course, provide no paper trail. It doesn’t take an overly active imagination to guess who was really paying the freight for that deal and why.

  9. Election tampering is essentially an act of treason. I don’t just want this woman out of office, I want her in Gitmo!

    1. Here in Illinois, we have an empty prison in Thompson where Nickolaus, Walker, and all of the other corrupt Republicans in Wisconsin and across America can do time for their crimes. I find that to be a better use for the empty Thompson prison than moving Gitmo to Thompson.

  10. $256,300? Getting rid of Kathy Nickolaus would be a bargain at any price. That woman is electoral Hell on wheels!

  11. Well…news from the East Coast is get rid of this woman. Why is she still there? I ask relatives who still live in Waukesha and all I get is oh well…everyone here is crooked. They see nothing wrong with it.

    When Kathy N. makes news in the TriState area…I would think that should say something.

Comments are closed.