Judge orders new election in Outagamie County

APPLETON – Some people in Outagamie County could be headed back the polls for a race they already voted on.

A judge has struck down election results after some voters in Kaukauna were given the wrong ballot for a county board race.

Here are the facts:

The election was on April 1. Eighty-four voters in Kaukauna received incorrect ballots. Some were supposed to cast ballots for Outagamie County District 13 race between Leroy Van Asten and Jason Fischer. Instead, they were given ballots for the District 10 race. Van Asten won District 13 with 189 votes. One hundred forty-one went to Fischer. That’s a difference of 48 votes. A recount confirmed the results. However, Fischer asked the court for a new election.

Fischer pleaded his case Wednesday and won.

“I’m happy with the outcome and now the voters will get to right to vote how they want,” the candidate told FOX 11.

“The court decided that there were a sufficient amount of voters who were not allowed to vote properly,” said Joe Guidote, the county’s attorney, who went on to say he was technically opposing Fischer.

But he told FOX 11 the judge’s decision is fair.

“We’re appearing mainly to make sure that the court knew what the proper standards were, what the law advises and what the facts were,” Guidote explained.

Fischer’s opponent, Leroy Van Asten, was also in court Wednesday. He declined to comment.

Now the Outagamie County Board needs to decide when the new District 13 election will be.

According to state law, the ballot needs to be available 47 days before an election, to allow for absentee voting. So state election officials say the election could be on the Aug. 12 ballot – if the board moves fast.

“Next week is the time when ballots for the August primary are being finalized and so if they want to do it then, they would need to act,” explained Reid Magney with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

In that case, the county would not need to spend extra money on the new election.

However, if the county decided to hold a special election for the District 13 race alone, that could cost up to about $7,500.

The county board chair told FOX 11 the county’s finance committee will discuss the special election next Tuesday. She said the full board will meet right after that and will likely talk about it too.

As for Fischer, he told us his work isn’t done yet.

“Get out and meet people, I have to do that again and make sure I have all my ducks in a row for that,” said Fischer.

The District 10 race, which was also affected by the ballot slip up, was not contested.

The Kaukauna city clerk did not respond to our requests for comment on this story.

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