Judge dismisses county board election appealSupervisor Carol Johnson was sworn as 26th District Douglas County Board supervisor late last week after an appeal challenging the decisions of the Douglas County Canvass Board was dismissed Wednesday.
By: Shelley Nelson, The Daily Telegram
Supervisor Carol Johnson was sworn as 26th District Douglas County Board supervisor late last week after an appeal challenging the decisions of the Douglas County Canvass Board was dismissed Wednesday.
Johnson took the oath of office after being declared the winner by Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Michael Lucci. She won the election with more than 60 percent of the vote.
Challenger Robert Edelstein sought a recount of the ballots cast in the town of Hawthorne because of irregularities in procedures concerning the town’s election. In his appeal dated April 11, Edelstein challenged the results canvass board’s decision because:
• The ballots accepted as sealed had been handled twice in an unsealed container by an individual not authorized to do so under Wisconsin law.
• Absentee ballots from Middle River Health Facility were known to have been logged by the town’s chief election inspector.
• The county clerk knew the memory card for the voting machine was not secured at the close of the polls April 1 in Hawthorne.
County Clerk Sue Sandvick declined to comment on the allegations. She said she answered questions until legal counsel advised against it after the appeal was filed April 11.
Douglas County Corporate Counsel Rick Felker argued Wednesday to have the case dismissed; he cited the failure to serve Johnson with notice of appeal; Edelstein’s failure to appear or reschedule and the failure to pay a court filing fee at the time the appeal were listed as causes to dismiss the case.
Lucci ruled beyond those recommendations, noting the case failed to meet time lines established by state law and providing prompt disposition of the case in the interest of continuity of representative government.
“I got no notice, so I don’t know what’s going on,” Edelstein wrote in an e-mail over the weekend.
In addition to dismissing the appeal, Lucci rescinded an order to impound all ballots and records of the election.