GAB recommends old district maps for recall elections - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

GAB recommends old legislative district maps should be used for recall elections


MADISON (WKOW) -- New legislative district maps should not be used for 2012 recall elections.

That's the recommendation the director of the Government Accountability Board relayed to the Senate Committee on Elections on Wednesday.

GAB Director Kevin Kennedy said that's because the law written by the Republican-led legislature made it clear those new maps should be ready for the general election on November 6, 2012.

Therefore, any recall or special election held before that date should be voted on using the old lines, said Kennedy.

That means a Senator or state Representative that's had his or her district changed, will still have people in their old district voting in a recall election to decide who will represent the new district.

For example, Sen. Jon Erpenbach's 27th District used to have the City of Monroe within its boundaries.

Under the new maps, Monroe is in a different district, but Portage became part of the 27th.

If Erpenbach were to be recalled, people in Monroe would get to vote in the election, but voters in Portage would not.

Kevin Kennedy had to explain it to the committee members several times.

"You represent the new district right now, today, for purposes of your constituents, that's what Act 43 does," said Kennedy. "For purposes of conducting any elections between now and November 6th, we use the old districts." To clarify, Kennedy was talking about November 6, 2012.

But, if a recall election is held after that date, the new maps would apply.

Kennedy said that scenario is not out of the question.

He estimates that any recall petition drive started after May of 2012 would not result in an election before that date.

Kennedy also told legislators that a new requirement for voters to prove they've had residency in their district for at least 28 days is too difficult for poll workers to verify.

He said that's because the accepted forms used to prove residency don't necessarily show a date on them within that time frame.

Kennedy said several laws would have to be changed to accommodate that requirement.



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