Wis. judge extends recall verification period - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wis. judge extends recall verification period

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A Madison judge has granted state election officials an additional 30 days to verify nearly 2 million signatures on recall petitions against Gov. Scott Walker and five other Republicans.

GAB leaders say with so many signatures and verification rules to follow, they can't meet their 31-day deadline. They met in front of a Dane Co. judge to ask for more time. So now, they're getting two months, before they must determine whether an election is warranted.

Lawyers for Governor Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican senators up for recall appeared in court too, asking for more time to check signatures on their own if they choose to file a challenge.

"We have a statutory right and a constitutional right to take a look at the signatures. There's a million of them, there's a 540,000 threshold, give us some time to get a lay of the land," says Steven Biskupic, attorney for Walker's campaign.

But their potential challenges would also slow down the GAB.

"The challenges come in and then the petitioners have an opportunity to respond to that, and then there's another time for rebuttal after that," says Reid Magney, GAB spokesperson.
   
In the end, Dane Co. Judge Richard Niess ruled both time frames should be extended. That means the GAB will now have two months to double check each signature. Gov. Walker's campaign will have a month to challenge, and the four senators will each have 20 days.
    
The GAB expects workers to finish scanning all the documents to convert them to electronic files by Friday, which means Walker's campaign could begin reviewing petitions for challenge on Saturday.

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