Village of Waukesha clerk resigns as election approaches

The presidential election is just 20 days away, and the Village of Waukesha is now without a full-time clerk.

"We're doing just fine in the village. We're doing great and in good hands. It feels good," said Village President Brian Fischer.

The reassurance from Fischer comes as the village board accepted now-former Clerk Karen Couillard's abrupt resignation.

In late September, FOX6 News spoke with Couillard after an absentee ballot mix-up. A husband and wife living in the same household received ballots for two different wards.

Karen Couillard

Karen Couillard

"Human error can sometimes make a mistake, and that's what happened in this case," Couillard said.

Four days later, Couillard quit. She had been on the job for less than one month. 

Fischer said the resignation was voluntary. Couillard replaced Kathy Nickolaus, who resigned in mid-August.

"When they were mailed out, apparently someone inadvertently put some of the wrong ballots in the wrong envelopes," said Fischer.

Absentee ballot

Fischer said the village has hired the Town of Mukwonago's clerk, Kathy Karalewitz, to fill in on an hourly basis.

"She's working extra hours, afternoons and weekends. She's taken over the administration of our election," Fischer said.

According to Fischer, the arrangement will be a cost-savings for the village until a full-time clerk is hired. Between the two jobs, Karalewitz will stay busy; Couillard previously told FOX6 News that 3,000 absentee ballots were requested as of late September.

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In total, Fischer said he is aware of four ballots that were issued incorrectly in the village. It is important to stress, all of those ballots have since been identified and corrected well before Election Day.

FOX6 News reached out to Karalewitz's office in Mukwonago, requesting an interview, but has not heard back.

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It's important to stress, at this time, we're only talking about one ballot. In this case, the wrong ballot was sent to a voter. It has since been corrected.

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