The Latest News from the Wisconsin Recall Elections

Here’s the latest from the oft times unbelievable Wisconsin recall saga. 

The State Board overseeing the election is only looking for duplicate signatures and obvious fake names on the recall petitions (thanks to a court order), and they are going to court for more time. A court has already denied the campaign of Governor Walker the additional time it requested to perform a more thorough review of the signatures. Meanwhile, the state is refusing to accept evidence of problems submitted by two local Tea Party groups that shows widespread problems with the petitions.

MacIver News Service

[Madison, Wisc…] The process of reviewing and validating the petition signatures in the attempted recall of Governor Scott Walker has become quite a mess.

The Government Accountability Board, which is merely reviewing the petitions for sufficiency, duplicates and obviously fake names, is in the process of seeking more time and more money to complete their review.

“At this time, staff does not know how much additional time we will be asking the Board to seek an extension for,” GAB spokesman Reid Magney told the MacIver News Service. “The Board will be discussing the issue of an extension at its meeting March 12, when we should have more information about how much more time may be necessary.”

The Walker campaign has been denied another extension of their review period  that was originally set at 10 days and earlier expanded by court order to 30. In addition to looking for duplicates and obviously bogus names, the Walker campaign had been attempting to verify addresses, the eligibility of each signatory and obvious forgeries. However, earlier this week the campaign announced they would not be challenging any signatures due to that time constraint.

“Despite these massive efforts, the time to challenge hundreds of thousands of signatures was simply unavailable,” said Walker campaign spokesperson Ciara Matthews.

Meanwhile state and national tea party groups amassed a volunteer army of 14,000 individuals who have entered the data from the petitions into a massive database. They have already estimated that circulators fell 140,000 signatures short of their alleged one million signatures and contend that if all the questionable signatures they found were discounted, the effort would not reach the 540,208 threshold that would trigger a recall.

However, the Government Accountability Board continues to contend it is legally prohibited from accepting challenges from that independent verification effort. Meaning a recall is almost certain.

The tea party groups have threatened to go to court to challenge the GAB’s decision not to review their findings, and the Walker campaign has requested the Board review the information those groups will submit.

“The whole concept of recall is for citizens to hold their government accountable, and that’s what we’re doing too,” Ross Brown, Verify the Recall organizer, told the MacIver News Service last month. “The truth is the truth. It doesn’t matter where it comes from.”

They have uncovered some interesting findings, for example.

  • More than 4,700 signatures on the Walker Recall were from out of state
  • Nearly 15,000 signatures came from dates outside the recall window
  • A signature by Donald Duck.  Mr. Duck’s address is a Starbucks in Appleton
  • More than 5,000 duplicate signatures, for example see those of Adam Triggs, below
  • Several signatures by Scott Walker.  Two examples in which the signers used Gov Walker’s name, then signed their own (or maybe not their own) and another that uses Scott Walker’s name and then offers up a profane comment

Officials with Verify the Recall have identified more than 228,000 additional signatures that, they say, merit investigation. These independent reviewers contend examples like theose pictured above cast doubt on the recall committee’s assertion that the documents were reviewed before they were submitted. Read more>>