Six candidates for Governor file signatures with GAB ahead of Mo - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Six candidates for Governor file signatures with GAB ahead of Monday deadline

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The deadline has passed for Wisconsin political candidates to submit signatures in the hope of getting on this year's election ballots.

Nomination signatures were due Monday at 5 p.m.

Reid Magney, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, said those running for State Assembly needed to submit at least 200 signatures. Candidates for State Senate must produce at least 400. The threshold sits at 1,000 for U.S. Congressional candidates and 2,000 for statewide races like Governor and Attorney General, Magney said.

"It's pretty standard that people wait until the last day to turn (signatures) in," said Charles Franklin, a professor of political science at the Marquette University Law School. Franklin added there are exceptions to the norm.

In the race for Governor, Republican incumbent Scott Walker and presumed Democratic front runner Mary Burke both submitted their signatures ahead of the deadline. Burke's nomination papers were turned in Friday.

Other gubernatorial candidates who have submitted nomination signatures are State Rep. Brett Hulsey, Marcia Mercedes-Perkins, Robert Burke and Dennis Fehr. Hulsey and Mercedes-Perkins are Democrats. Burke lists himself as a Libertarian, while Fehr is listed as a member of the People's Party.

Franklin said voters shouldn't read too much into a candidate's ability to secure the necessary signatures as an indicator of success in the upcoming elections.

"Requiring 2-thousand signatures is a fairly low hurdle to get on to a statewide ballot," he said. "Under most circumstances most candidates should be able, if they're at all serious, to be able to clear that hurdle."

Franklin added the process of submitting signatures is important because it determines whether or not there will be primary elections in various races. Franklin cited the Attorney General's Race, in which Democrats Susan Happ, Ismael Ozanne and State Rep. Jon Richards all submitted signatures and will now likely face off in a primary August 12.

Attorney General candidates Brad Schimel, a Republican, and Thomas Nelson, who's listed as a Libertarian, also turned nomination signatures into the GAB Monday.

Magney said the GAB will now review signatures to confirm them as valid. He said the GAB will also begin taking challenges, filed by the public, to signatures suspected of being invalid. He said the deadline to file such challenges is this Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Magney said candidates are given 24 hours to respond to any challenges. The GAB will then review them ahead of a June 10 meeting in which the ballots for races will be finalized. Magney said that makes this a busy time of year for his office. He said approximately five, temporary workers have been called in to assist with the signature verification process. He said other GAB workers have been sent over from other departments or are being paid overtime to assist.

"We worked over the weekend, at least we had people in on Saturday, and we'll be working very late (Monday) night," he said.

"We'll also be doing a lot of work Tuesday just getting all the signatures in," Magney said.

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