Friday, August 13, 2010

Waukesha County Clerk to keep upcoming election on her Personal Computer, Asking Voters to Trust Results.

While Wisconsin’s conservative Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has identified “voter fraud” as a major threat in our state, another very conservative county’s clerk is personally keeping all election information, to herself. Jaw dropping crazy stuff:

Jsonline: Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus' decision to go it alone in how she collects and maintains election results has some county officials raising a red flag about the integrity of the system. Nickolaus said she decided to take the election data collection and storage system off the county's computer network - and keep it on stand-alone personal computers accessible only in her office - for security reasons. "What it gave me was good security of the elections from start to finish, without the ability of someone unauthorized to be involved," she said.

Nonetheless, Director of Administration Norman A. Cummings said "How does anybody else in the county know, except for her verbal word, that there are backups, and that the software she has out there is performing as it should?" he said. "There's no way I can assure that the election system is going to be fine for the next presidential election." Cummings stressed … municipal clerks send their election night results by dial-up modem to the county clerk, where they are tabulated and stored. That prompted Cummings' concerns.

Of course Kathy Nickolaus is a classic conservative paranoid, who could throw an election nights results into question and chaos.

Mike Biagioli, the county's manager of information technology, sees risk in Nickolaus' action. "What happens if something goes wrong on election night? We don't support her at all on election night. She was pretty clear about that. If something goes wrong, what do you do?" he said. "I would love to be able to go in and verify that everything is OK."

Cummings said … he was troubled that Nickolaus talks about the computer equipment, software and data as if it is hers, although it was purchased with county funds. A March 8 memo from Cummings to Nickolaus … said hardware and software on the clerk's computers were "obsolete, not repairable and unsupportable." Without improvements, he worried that the elections system could be "inoperative and irrecoverable." Nickolaus said she was a programmer for 15 years before becoming county clerk.

Isn’t it odd that in one of Wisconsin’s most conservative counties, the clerk wants to keep all the election results to herself with the promise to voters that they should trust her and the election results. Now that’s what I call securing an election.

1 comment:

  1. ANOTHER "TRUST ME" scenario. This is a public process not a private one