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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes


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In contrast to the post below, a savvy listner provides a doze of sanity:

Just reflecting as I hear the Dem outrage and the media clucking and Kathy Nicholous character assassination about the Waukesha County vote change:

(1) Conspiracy theorists, settle down:  (a) Anyone watching that press conference yesterday who thought this was some sort of grand scheme by Kathy Nicholous is blind.  She was going through her own private hell, and I think would have much rather seen David Prosser lose than have to stand up there and admit her mistake. (b) the most forceful moment of the press conference and the most definitive statement of "this is the right thing to do" came from Ramona then Democrat canvasser.   You can call this a lot of things - a boner, a flub, etc. - but you cannot seriously suggest (as Kloppenberg is not so subtly doing) that this is a GOP conspiracy.

(2) There is a reason results are called "preliminary."    Lost in the Waukesha bombshell was the fact that all over the state votes were moving back and forth all day.  Prosser was actually up before Waukesha County was announced, because of errors in other counties.  That is the nature of preliminary vote counts.  That's why you were correct in saying the race was a tie and we didn't know who had won.  It was why Joanne Kloppenberg was stupid and desperate to hold a press conference and declare victory and smarmily thank Prosser for 30 years of public service on the basis of a preliminary 200 vote margin.   Without Waukesha, this thing was going to be a roller coaster with more lead changes than the NCAA tournament.  Preliminary numbers are just that.  It is a bi-product of the media's "need for speed" and their horserace obsession to call the winner.   They will take any number they can get and write a story around it.  The fact that AP, the Journal Sentinel and everyone else in the MSM jumped the gun and built huge storylines around vote totals they KNEW were not final and not accurate (no statewide canvass ever comes back vote for vote in synch with the preliminary data) is not an indictment of the electoral system, County Clerks or anything else.  It is indictment of the MSM's rush to judgment obsession with being first and with telling us what to think.  It is simply not in their nature to say, "we don't know, and we're not going to pretend we do until we are sure."  Ironically, today many of them will be bashing Kathy Nicholous for not double checking her work on election night, when the reason they are having to do such embarrassed and contorted analysis backflips and about faces right now is because they turned in their work without waiting for all the fact themselves.

(3) The system worked.  I live in Brookfield.  Should I have been disenfranchised simply because it is inconvenient or embarrassing for Kloppenberg and the media to have to admit they jumped the gun and went off half cocked on the basis of preliminary data?  The point of an election is not to satisfy the media's desire for a storyline.  The point of an election is for people in a democracy to have their voice heard and their vote counted.  Because of a computer glitch, human error, or whatever, I - and everyone else in Brookfield - was denied that right Tuesday night/Wed. morning.  Fortunately, we have a canvas built into the process to double check the preliminary totals and ensure that votes are accurately counted and no one is disenfranchised.  The fact that the system caught a big error is not an indictment of the system, it is a validation of the system. 

(4) We need to blow the whistle on the myth of "reversal/swing".  Watch how many stories today speak of a dramatic "swing" or "reversal" in the election.  That's once again horserace b.s.   Nothing reversed.  No votes changed.  Prosser did not stage a "comeback" yesterday.  Every vote counted or changed in the canvas in Waukesha or any of the other counties was a vote legitimately cast 3 days ago.  Again, I live in Brookfield.  I did  not vote again yesterday and "swing the election" in Prosser's favor.  I voted Tuesday.  If Prosser won, he won based on those votes cast Tuesday.  The fact that my vote didn't get correctly counted until Thursday did not trigger a "change" or  a "reversal" in the election outcome.   The counting delay may have caused a change in perception by silly candidates or reporters intent on jumping the gun and giving final vote credibility to preliminary data, but it did NOT cause a change in the vote or in the election.  


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