The Wisconsin Supreme Court election is finally, officially over.
Politico reports that incumbent David Prosser was declared the winner by Wisconsin’s election board on Monday:
Wisconsin’s elections board on Monday certified judge David Prosser as the winner of the hotly contested race for the state Supreme Court, handing a victory to conservative activists who flocked to the race as a referendum on Gov. Scott Walker’s law restricting collective bargaining for public sector unions.
The results of a state-funded recount by Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board have Prosser, the incumbent, leading liberal JoAnne Kloppenburg by 7,004 votes – a margin of just .46 percent out of nearly 1.5 million votes cast.
“I look forward to taking the oath of office and continuing to serve in a fair and independent manner as a member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” Prosser said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The race heated up as unions poured millions into the campaign to defeat Prosser. Conservative organizations responded with support for Prosser. According to Politico, about $5 million was spent on the race that became a referendum on Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair plan.
Shortly after the election, Kloppenberg declared victory with a miniscule lead, but after a glitch in one county revealed Prosser had garnered far more votes than originally thought, Prosser pulled ahead.
Citing “widespread” voting “anomalies,” Kloppenberg and her allies demanded a recount and at one point, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) asked the Attorney General to step in and investigate.
While some vote totals did change, the state elections board dismissed Kloppenberg’s allegation. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:
In certifying the recount, Government Accountability Board Chairman Thomas Barland disputed that characterization.
“It was not a surprise that minor mistakes were discovered, investigated and corrected,” he said. “This happens in all elections.”
The official totals show Prosser receiving 752,694 votes and Kloppenburg receiving 745,690, giving Prosser a 0.46% advantage.
The election came on the heels of protests marked with death threats and outrageous behavior by Democrats and their union supporters.
Democrats and their union allies tried to stir unrest nationwide and a former Idaho state Senator suggested pulling a Wisconsin to “descend on Boise.”
In late February, former Idaho state Senator Mary Lou Reed attacked the education bill put forward by Tom Luna, the Idaho State Superintendent of Public Instruction, in an op-ed at the Pacific Northwest Inlander.
The Coeur d’Alene Democrat concludes by writing: “Let’s pull a Wisconsin and descend on Boise.”
The bill, backed by Idaho Governor Butch Otter, passed the House with a 48-22 vote this week.
The election was crucial, as it would determine if Wisconsin would remain a state governed by the rule of law or if it would become a state governed by brute union force. If the unions were successful in Wisconsin, they could try the same tactics in Idaho, Washington, or any other state they wished.
Kloppenberg can still file a lawsuit if she wishes to contest the election, but she only has until May 31 to do so.
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