It is all but certain Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, and four Wisconsin State Senators will face recall elections in 2012. Certification of the signatures is an ongoing process playing out in the courts and online, where you can watch Government Accountability Board employees work to verify signatures.
Governor & Lieutenant Governor
Recall supporters turned in over one million signatures against Governor Scott Walker, and roughly 845,000 against Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Under Wisconsin law, it takes 540,000 signatures to trigger a recall election for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, so it is likely that the recall organizers will succeed.
Both the Government Accountability Board (GAB) and Republicans are now scrambling to verify the petitions, culling multiple signatures and irregularities such as fake names and addresses.
A court increased, from 31 to 61, the number of days the GAB has to examine the petitions and determine whether recall elections should be held. The GAB verification process is being conducted in an undisclosed location. The public’s only access to the top secret bunker comes via a camera set up to allow external monitoring of the process. The recall cam has become an internet sensation, drawing thousands of viewers and inspiring a parody account on twitter.
The court also granted additional review time to the recall targets, and ordered that their review periods not start until they had received copies of the petitions from the GAB. The countdown has begun for the recall targets as the candidates and the public now have access to all petitions on the GAB website, except those against Lt. Gov. Kleefisch since they are still being scanned.
Although it is still unclear who will appear on the Democratic ticket for the gubernatorial race, a recent poll by Marquette University showed Gov. Walker with a lead against each potential candidate. Announced candidate, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, comes the closest to beating Walker at 50 percent to 44 percent. Gov. Walker also leads former Congressman David Obey 49 percent to 43 percent and Janesville Democratic State Senator Tim Cullen 50 percent to 40 percent.
Recall groups turned in what appear to be enough signatures to recall four Senate Republicans: Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (Beaver Dam), Pam Galloway (Wausau), Terry Moulton (Chippewa Falls), and Van Wanggaard (Racine).
There is no definite candidate running against Fitzgerald, but the other senators’ challengers have emerged. Rep. Donna Seidel, D-Wausau, will challenge Galloway; former Rep. Kristen Dexter, D-Eau Claire, will take on Moulton; and former Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, will seek a rematch of his 2010 race against Wanggaard.
The GAB has posted scans of the senate recall petitions, but the agency is not currently working to verify those signatures, focusing first on the Governor and Lieutenant Governor petitions.
This post was authored by Andrew Cook.