Fixing polling place error flips State Rep. race in Democrat’s favor in Wisconsin
WISCONSIN, MILWAUKEE – November 12, 2018
When election night finally ended, it appeared that former State Treasurer and former public school teacher Republican Matt Adamczyk had won the 14th state Assembly race in Wauwatosa and Brookfield, but now it seems the race has flipped with Democrat Robyn Vining as the winner.
The 14th district includes portions of the cities of Brookfield, Milwaukee, and Wauwatosa.
Suddenly late Wednesday it appeared that almost 1,000 ballots were missing from the final count. On the afternoon of Nov. 7, Wauwatosa received a call from the Milwaukee County Clerk’s office that the Central Count election results for Wards 16 and 17 were missing.
City clerk staff and Milwaukee County clerk’s staff then spoke on the phone and determined that Milwaukee County did not send the full election results. City staff resent the results. At that time, they verified that the totals matched, according to Carla Ledesma, Wauwatosa city clerk.
Julietta Henry, director of elections for Milwaukee County, said that while preparing for canvassing, Milwaukee staff noticed the error. Henry said the votes from the polling sites and absentee votes weren't added together.
County election staff caught it and decided to zero out the total and have Wauwatosa resubmit the polling place numbers, but no one realized the absentee numbers were also deleted.
The polling place ballots were resubmitted, but the absentee ballots were not.
"In between the time in which we zeroed them out, let's just say the new numbers came in," Henry said.
The updated and verified totals gave Vining an additional 153 votes more than Adamczyk.
“I’d like to thank all the people who supported me in my election for the 14th district," Adamczyk said. "I’m heartened by all the people who have reached out offering their support as we await the formal result. This new unofficial result discovery is the reason we have a canvass. I will wait until after the official canvass results to announce my decision whether or not I pursue a recount.”
If the vote stands, Vining would take a seat that has been occupied by Republican Dale Kooyenga for the last eight years. The seat was open with Kooyenga seeking a spot in the state Senate. Kooyenga defeated his Democratic opponent to take over the 5th Senate District, a seat Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) previously occupied. Vukmir lost the U.S. Senate race to incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin.
Vining is a founding board member of Exploit No More, which works to end child sex trafficking. According to Vining, the Greater Milwaukee region has become known nationally as a hub for sex trafficking, and it’s a problem that occurs in every county in Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote.
Vining is enthusiastic about the newly elected administration with Democrat Tony Evers and his running mate former state Rep. Mandela Barnes winning the election for governor over incumbent Scott Walker.
Her main goal is to represent everyone in her district, blue or red, she said.
"I want to change how we talk to each other. We can still hold true to our values, purpose and mission," Vining said.
In the same Assembly district, one ward in Brookfield had a ballot machine jam. That number is probably not big enough to impact the outcome of any races, according to WISN12.