MADISON, Wis., April 7 (UPI) -- Wisconsin elections officials said Thursday they found uncounted votes that vaulted state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser into the lead over his challenger.
One day after Democratic candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg, an assistant state attorney general, declared victory over Prosser, the Republican, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said votes that had not been counted among unofficial returns from Tuesday's election had given Prosser a net gain over Kloppenburg of 7,582. Nickolaus, a Republican, told reporters Thursday afternoon the votes had been overlooked due to "human error, which I apologize for."
"This is not a case of extra votes or extra ballots being found," Nickolaus said.
Nickolaus said she had neglected save 14,315 votes in her computer and to report the votes cast in the city of Brookfield, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. She said Prosser gained 10,859 to 3,456 for Kloppenburg.
Officials from the Prosser and Kloppenburg campaigns could not be reached for comment immediately after Nickolaus' announcement, the Journal Sentinel said.
With unofficial returns Wednesday showing Kloppenburg leading Prosser by a few hundred votes out of an estimated 1.5 million cast, election analysts said a recount seemed certain.
The fate of a contested Wisconsin law meant to strip public employees of most collective bargaining rights may be determined in the state supreme court. It was not certain Thursday whether legal challenges to the way in which Republican lawmakers acted on the bill will reach the court before Aug. 1, when the winner of Tuesday's election is scheduled to be sworn in.
The election Tuesday was seen as a proxy referendum on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's controversial law, the Journal Sentinel said.