JoAnne Kloppenburg did the right thing by demanding a statewide recount by hand in the hotly contested state supreme court seat against David Prosser.
I imagine part of her might have wanted to put the whole thing behind her and get on with her life, but she resisted that temptation, and I applaud her for doing so.
On Election Night, it looked like she'd won by 204 votes, and she declared herself the winner the next morning. But then, two days after the polls had closed, the Republican county clerk in heavily Republican Waukesha County, Kathy Nickolaus, who used to work for Prosser, all of a sudden found 14,000 missing votes which turned into a net gain for Prosser of some 7,500 votes.
And that's basically been the difference, as Prosser sits with an unofficial lead of 7,316 votes.
Rep. Tammy Baldwin has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate what happened in Waukesha County, but we haven't heard a peep from him.
Kloppenburg herself asked for special investigator to look into Nickolaus's practices, which was suspect in previous elections, as well.
Kloppenburg also made news by alleging "Prosser had a one-on-one meeting with Republican Gov. Scott Walker on the day after the election," according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, a meeting that certainly would raise eyebrows.
For Kloppenburg, this supreme court race has been surreal from the start. A long shot, she didn't get into the race as the candidate of the anti-Walker, pro-labor crowd. Her motives were purer than that. A terrific lawyer, she's wanted to be a judge for many years, and she'd be a great judge. That's why she ran.
But then she got caught up in the sweep of history, and she became the de facto candidate of the anti-Walker movement. As such, she did owe these supporters a fight to the finish.
With the bizarre actions in Waukesha County and suggestions of irregularities elsewhere, Kloppenburg had no other choice.
The Prosser people tried to bully her out of demanding a recount, saying she'd be wasting taxpayer dollars and threatening legal challenges, though a recount is well within her rights.
Prosser himself improbably claimed that he'd won a "decisive" victory.
And once Kloppenburg called for the recount on Wednesday, the Prosser team condemned it as a "nakedly political goal" to "disenfranchise thousands of Wisconsin citizens."
Prosser and the Republicans are all about power: grabbing it and keeping it and abusing it.
All the more reason to have a statewide recount -- the old-fashioned way.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Paul Ryan Jeered Outside Madison Club."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.