Recall Signatures Are Due this Week, Lengthy Review Process and Legal Challenges Will Likely Extend Election Timeline

Recall proponents will finish gathering signatures that must be turned into the Government Accountability Board (GAB) this week. It is expected that there will be enough signatures to place the Governor and four Republican Senators on the ballot. When the actual elections will take place, however, remains to be seen.

The Republican Party is already in court seeking to force GAB officials to take more affirmative steps when vetting recall signatures. Previously, GAB officials caused a bit of controversy when they announced that they would not actively challenge questionable recall signatures, but instead said the onus would fall on the public to challenge those signatures.

Earlier this month Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Mac Davis issued a ruling requiring the GAB to actively seek out and eliminate duplicate, fictitious, or unverifiable signatures. In response to the decision, the GAB announced plans to purchase software to build a database for reviewing recall petitions.

As a result of the more exhaustive review GAB will now under take to review recall signatures, it is expected that the 60-day review period required by law will need to be extended. This, along potential legal challenges to specific signatures, could drag out the review process.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that the GAB will go to court to not only ask for more time to review signatures, but also to request that all recall elections be held on the same day. Having all the elections on the same day could push them back even further since a challenge in one race would impact them all.

This post was authored by Andrew Cook.