Task of verifying nearly two million signatures will take time

By: Amelia Cerling, Chris Baylor & WEAU 13 News Staff Email
By: Amelia Cerling, Chris Baylor & WEAU 13 News Staff Email

(WEAU) - On Tuesday boxes upon boxes holding signed petitions were brought to the Government Accountability Board.

Crowds cheered as recall Walker organizers carried in box after box of what they say is more than one million signatures. That's almost more than double the amount needed to trigger a recall of Republican Governor Scott Walker, who spent Tuesday far away from Wisconsin. He was at a fundraiser in New York. With signatures being handed in Tuesday, the state has taken the next step into a possible recall election. The Government Accountability Board says it doesn't know how long it will take to review roughly 1.9 million signatures to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker and five other politicians.

"We dealt with a large number of petitions in 2011 but this is likely ten times as much work,” Kevin Kennedy with the GAB.

The law requires the GAB review to be finished in 31 days, but the board says it will take longer to look at more than a million signatures. It says it would like at least 60 days to do the review. Recall supporters arrived Tuesday with boxes of signatures in hand all day in efforts to recall not only Governor Walker, but Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald as well as three other republican state senators.

Local voters are split on what they think about the recall.

"I believe it's a waste of time. I like how we're out of a deficit and I think Scott Walker is doing the right thing," says Thomas O'Halloran.

"I'm in support of a society where people can talk and come to common ground, honor opinions and look at facts. Walker has been the antithesis of that," says Mark Ruddy.

The organizers have been dropping their signed petitions off at the government accountability board in downtown Madison. Chief Election Officer Kevin Kennedy held a press conference Tuesday afternoon saying his staff has close to two million signatures to verify, which will take at least two months if not more time to look over. This means if a recall election is held it won't be until June if not later in the summer.

“This has been a very polarizing process with a lot of tensions that came up during the start of the recall process. We are hoping we can complete the recall process that will be fitting of Wisconsin’s commitment to open and transparent government, but also reasoned and civil resolution of those issues,” Kennedy says.

Tuesday Governor Scott Walker said he expects voters to stand by him in any recall election and will campaign on his record. WEAU recently sat down with the Governor to get his take on the recall.

"I'm going to run a campaign to win but I'm not afraid to lose. To me if you do things for the right reasons long term people will see what we’re doing is historic here in Wisconsin and even maybe in the county. It will show we stood up and did the right thing. We thought more about the next generation then we did about just the next election," says Governor Walker.

Walker has already spent the last couple of months aggressively campaigning both across the state and the country. In mid December he announced he had already raised $5.1 million, half of that from out of state.

"What we're seeing here in Wisconsin is something that's proving to be more powerful than money and that's the power of the people. This is a real grass roots effort all across the state. Rural people, urban people, suburban people are all pulling together and say we're going to take our government back," said Democratic State Senator Kathleen Vinehout during the Ed Show on MSNBC Tuesday night.

Our political analyst, John Frank, says if the Government Accountability Board gets through the signatures in 60 days, like it wants to, we could see a democratic primary near the end of May with a special election in June. However he says that's all the processes go smoothly.

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  • by Dana on Jan 19, 2012 at 08:43 PM
    It just shows how determined the libs are. There is no reason that Wisconsin should be any better then Detroit, Chicago, LA, or the likes. Lets trash our economy and strip everyone of their rights... Hitler just didn't know what he was doing. We can be trash too! Or we can be better then the rest! Lets vote again, and again, and again..
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 20, 2012 at 06:12 AM in reply to Dana
      holy wow. wow
      • reply
        by Barb on Jan 20, 2012 at 04:15 PM in reply to
        Very well put, Anonymous!
  • by wow...lol on Jan 18, 2012 at 04:35 PM
    What I would love to see is an independent run that works for people and not for big corporations and unions. All we can do is keep trying and eventually it will happen.
  • by jbe on Jan 18, 2012 at 03:28 PM
    Look at what happened to the Badgers and the Packers when the recallers were there collecting all those signatures, also klopenberger.
  • by Recall Walker on Jan 18, 2012 at 03:18 PM
    All the sour grapes in the world wont make your wine any sweeter. Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey GOODBYE
  • by Kathy Location: chippewa falls on Jan 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM
    I'm glad to see Gov Walker supporters posting comments. If anyone put my name on any petitions (I wouldn't sign one) I will erase that by re voting for Gov Walker. What a waste of Wisconsin's money ( I hear 9 million) to have to do this.
    • reply
      by dennis shadrick on Jan 19, 2012 at 04:39 AM in reply to Kathy
      I suppose our tax payer's money is being spent on this governor being out of state on fund raiser..
  • by Workhard Location: wcwi on Jan 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM
    People cheered as they carried in the boxes these people are sick!! Get a life, I did not vote when Walked ran the first time,But I will not miss it this time.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2012 at 11:42 AM in reply to Workhard
      I wish I could have been there to help cheer.
      • reply
        by SS on Jan 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM in reply to
        Should've requested your doctor write you an excuse.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2012 at 02:16 PM in reply to SS
          Thought you would be happy I was working since that is something liberals supposedly do not do.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2012 at 01:29 PM in reply to
        Then you are part of the problem.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jan 19, 2012 at 05:51 AM in reply to
          So you say. I say I am taking action.
  • by scott Location: eau claire on Jan 18, 2012 at 10:07 AM
    jeff for the ten thousandth time, free health care at 55, man up, prove that right now, submit a link, or stop mouthing off, because what you are saying is simply not true. show us where you get this information, please, your argument gets really, really old.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2012 at 09:44 AM
    So what's the moral of the story here people? You had people all over the state spending countless hours gathering signatures, half of which are probably dead. Now we are going to spend dollar after dollar counting & verifying these signatures. So lets say it does come to a re-election, lets spend more money on that as well. How about this, if it comes to a re-election and Gov. Walker gets re-elected (which he will), lets total all the dollars we wasted on the signature counting/verification and the re-election and make the people who signed the recall Walker petition pay for the whole mess? Now that's something I will sign, right next to my "X" that re-elects Scott Walker!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM in reply to Anonymous
      The moral of the story is that if you are politician you had better listen when there is such outrage about your actions or there will be a price to pay.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jan 19, 2012 at 06:26 AM in reply to
        And who exactly were the people than were outraged? Yep, state employees. Lets go back in time a few years and have a show of hands. For all those people employed in WI by non-state companies, if you were offered a job working for the state, would you have accepted it? Of course you would have. What if you didn't think you would like the job, would you still have taken it? Of course you would have. Why? Am I against unions? No, as a matter of fact, I work for a union shop. The difference being, when our contract is up, we have to negotiate any increase in wages. Answer this for me, who negotiates pay increases for state unions? That would be NOBODY, cause there are no negotiations, its just handed out as if its expected and the WI taxpayers get the bill. The true moral of the story is that state employees were spoiled way, way beyond the average WI worker. How many non-state workers do you know that can retire after 20-25 years of work? Very few, if any at all. And Gov. Walker put a stop to it and now you are bitter. To bad, so sad. Welcome to the real world.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jan 19, 2012 at 04:27 PM in reply to Anonymous
          I am not a state nor a union employee, and in spite of your incredibly long winded response that had nothing at all to do with my post Walker is the one being welcomed to the real world.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jan 19, 2012 at 08:17 AM in reply to
        How long did it take to get how many signatures? And what's the population of WI again? And how many of those signatures are actually legit? The only outrage I know of is the millions & millions of WI taxpayer dollars being spent to pacify the ego's of a few grossly overpaid WI state union employees who are now crying in thier Wheaties every morning because Gov. Walker put an end to it. No worries on this end Gov. Walker, WI has got your back in the re-election. Mark my words, this will be the largest voter turn-out for an election in our entire state's history. It's just sad that we had to waste all this time, effort and taxpayer money in the process.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jan 19, 2012 at 04:35 PM in reply to Anonymous
          It really didn't take long at all, the population since you ask is according to the 2010 census 5,686,986 with 23.6 % of those being under age 18. As far a legit signature we will see won't we. I think you will be suprised how many are legit. I am not a state nor a union employee. I believe you are correct that turn out will be exceptionally high.
      • reply
        by ahem-GACK! on Jan 20, 2012 at 06:11 AM in reply to
        So what you're saying is that the state employees and their precious union should have more control over the way this state is run than those that we elected to the offices that run the state.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:28 AM in reply to ahem-GACK!
          Not at all. I am saying when there is outrage of the size witnessed this past year politicians would be wise to second guess their decisions that spark such unrest. These are citizens same as you who are doing this not unions.
  • by Jason on Jan 18, 2012 at 09:25 AM
    So how is the verification process going to be handled? I didn't sign and I have ZERO intentions of signing, but how do I know that some idiot didn't go thru the phone book & write my name down???
  • by Mary Location: Augusta on Jan 18, 2012 at 09:09 AM
    I believe the ones that are asking for the recall should be billed, or Lt. Gov. Kleefisch should, because she is pushing it. We should allow this Gov. to let this process work through so we can see the difference. The past processes have haven't worked thus far, so give Gov. Walker a chance before you shun his ideas. We are proud of you Gov. Scott Walker! Thanks for Trying to Make A Difference!
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