State elections panel places Republican Kevin Nicholson on ballot

MADISON -- Wisconsin election officials say Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson deserves a spot on the fall ballot.

Conservative activist Richard Strohm had challenged Nicholson's nomination signatures, alleging some signatures were dated after the circulator certified the papers and Nicholson's circulators aren't Wisconsin residents.

Commission staff reviewed Strohm's complaint and found they already had struck post-certification signatures and state law says circulators must be a qualified Wisconsin voter or a U.S. citizen who would be qualified to vote in Wisconsin if he or she lived here.

The staff recommended the commission declare that Nicholson has 3,906 valid signatures. The commission adopted the recommendation unanimously Monday.

Nicholson had asked the commission to declare the challenge frivolous, which would mean a $500 forfeiture for Strohm. Commission attorney Michael Haas wrote in a memo that the complaint "entirely ignores" case law but it's not clear a frivolous forfeiture applies to nomination paper challenges.