Three Senate recall elections will proceed - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Three Senate recall elections will proceed

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Only one of the four Republican Senators facing a recall could avoid an election.

Simple math shows three of them simply didn't turn in enough challenged signatures to the Government Accountability Board Thursday.

The Senators would have had to successfully challenge enough signatures to push the total number of valid signatures below the amount needed to force an election.

Only Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald accomplished that goal.

Part of the problem for the GOP, is that more than half of the signatures being challenged by each of the four Republican Senators won't count at all.

Republicans entered them, because they were gathered in the old legislative districts, which the legislature changed in November.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin has been arguing since the start of the recall process, that the GAB should be using the new districts.

But, for the purposes of these recall elections, the GAB is using the old districts, saying the new ones were set up to be used starting with the November, 2012 elections.

"Our objective with challenging those is just to bring the issue forward again, because we'd like somebody, preferably the GAB, to address the issue," said Dan Romportl of the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, the group in charge of the challenges.

In other words, even Republican's knew those challenges were dead on arrival.

Without them, Senators Van Wanggaard, Pam Galloway and Terry Moulton are all short of the number they need.

But Sen. Scott Fitzgerald does have enough; actually about 900 more than he needed to stop the recall against him.

That's if they hold up to the Democrats rebuttal.

"We're very confident in our volunteer organizations in our recall committees, that all four will be facing a recall election, " said Brad Wojciechowski of the State Senate Democratic Committee.

If the Democrats can convince the GAB that just one-fifth of Fitzgerald's challenged signatures should actually be counted, an election will be set.

But depending how close the final margin is, Fitzgerald's team could file a lawsuit.

"Tough to pinpoint a number," said Romportl.  "Certainly if it were less than 50, I think the chances would be very good that we would take legal action to argue each and every one of those signatures."

There are pending lawsuits that have been filed to force the GAB to use the new legislative districts for the recalls, but its unlikely that any of those would be settled in time to affect the outcomes of the elections.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he expects recall elections to proceed against three of his colleagues, despite challenges they have made to thousands of signatures on petitions seeking their ouster from office.

Sen. Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said Friday he is hopeful, though, that his election can be blocked through the challenges he made to the Government Accountability Board on Thursday.

Fitzgerald is the only one of the four lawmakers who clearly challenged more than enough signatures to void an election. The GAB has a March 19 deadline to determine how many of the signatures will count. 

The other senators are Pam Galloway of Wausau, Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls and Van Wanggaard of Racine.

The GAB has posted the recall petition challenges filed by the four Republican senators. Click here to view the challenges.

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