In Sauk County, there’s a convent, Valley of our Lady Monastery that is inhabited by 18 Cistercian nuns.[They are good nuns btw] These nuns take a vow of silence, with their main occupation being the making the communion wafers. I am not making this up, the website couldn’t be better: http://www.nunocist.org/page2.html. The majority of these nuns stay at the Monastery their entire life…living the simplest of simple lives.
Every election the Town of Sumpter Clerk, Donna Ziegler, drops off 18 ballots so the nuns can vote. She later picks them up, prior to the election in a single, large, sealed envelope—not opening the large envelope prior to the election.
This year, she opened the large enveloped and removed the ballots…counted them, and included them as part of the total 24 absentee ballots for the town.
Fast forward to the recount….last Friday it was discovered that the absentee ballots cast by the nuns didn’t include witness signatures…and no one noticed prior to the election. The Kloppenburg team argued that the ballots should be thrown out—never mind that the GAB has never enforced lack of witness signature as grounds for throwing out a ballot with any regularity—and was successful.
Yesterday, the canvas board reconsidered—bringing in the Town Clerk (Ziegler) to discuss the situation, and she very passionately objected to the dismissal—stating she knows these women, trusts them and has always handled the nun’s absentee ballots the same way. Again, the canvas board after a long and somewhat contentious conversation voted to reject the ballots—at the insistence of the Kloppenburg attorney.
They were forced to “draw down” among the 24 absentee ballots, and Prosser lost 14 while Klopp lost 4.