GAB prepares for busy summer of recalls - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

GAB prepares for busy summer of recalls


By Colby Robertson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- We're about halfway through the allotted 60-day period for recall committees to collect signatures. It's looking more and more likely we'll have a summer filled with recall elections.

This current recall situation is unprecedented, anywhere in the nation. Never have 16 state lawmakers, Republican or Democrat, been subject to recall at the same time. It is within this historical context that has the Government Accountability Board working around the clock.

As the recalls have filed in, questions have piled up at the G.A.B. at its board meeting Tuesday, the Government Accountability Board talked about how they plan to guide everyone through this unique recall process.

GAB Member Judge Gordon Myse says, "We have never seen the number of recalls take place as are taking place now. It creates a large number of problems because of the notoriety and scrutiny that these recalls are getting and the number."

There are 16 State Senators subject to recall and 19 committees in total working to collect signatures. Senators Mark Miller (D-Monona), Robert Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) and Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) each have two separate groups targeting a recall against them.

Depending on the State Senator, each recall petitioner must get anywhere between 12,000 and 20,000 signatures. Signatures the G.A.B will have to go through one-by-one.

Kennedy says, "When we review, we don't put all the signatures into a data base and match up. We look at each petition, each page individually to make sure it complies with the law."

The recall petitions targeting the eight Republicans must be turned in by May 2, 2011. Those targeting the eight democrats range from late April to mid-May. Those dates are based on when paperwork was officially filed.

Kennedy says they're working to bring some consistency to the end process ideally so they can have one statewide recall election. The one thing standing in the way of that is the likelihood we'll see several challenges once the signatures are turned in.

Kevin Kennedy says, "If we have a very complex set of challenges on one recall that will take more time than the others and so we may have a few outliers but our goal for administrative efficiency and the publics is to get them on one day or limit them to a small number of days." He goes on to say, "We're not talking forever, but I think our summer will be consumed by recalls."

Kennedy says they will have 12 additional staffers to assist in reviewing the petitions.

He also expects the court will grant them some additional time to sift through all the paperwork.

Both the G.A.B and it's staff must be non-partisan.

For more information on the recalls head to the Government Accountability Board.

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