Friday, March 9, 2012

Wisconsin: GAB recommending recalls against all four state Senators, May 15/June 12 dates

GAB staff are recommending that recalls move ahead on the four state Senators, with proposed dates of May 15 and June 12. The Board has actually asked for more time -- until April 6 -- to make a decision. That would mean May 15 would be the election date - however, if there are primaries, it would be the primary date, and June 12 would be the election day.

This need for a primary could lead to some strange results, such as the Gubernatorial election being held on a different day than the LG election.

Perhaps most importantly, the recall could result in the state Senators facing recalls on a different date than the Governor. Wisconsin has an open primary system, so Republican voters may come out to vote strategically (i.e. choose the weakest candidate to run against Walker). However, they may not turn out in the same amount as Democrats, leading to some Democratic advantages in the Senate recalls. Last summer, the Republicans ran "fake" Democratic primary candidates to delay the recall (and also have all the Republican recalls on the same day. Will they do the same thing this year?

Some additional info on each petition:

Recall organizers submitted about 20,735 petitions to recall Fitzgerald, which is above the 16,742 required. The board staff is recommending that 867 of those signatures be disqualified, with the remaining signatures more than enough to allow a recall to go forward.
A spokesman for the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate had no immediate response to a request for comment. A spokesman for the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee also had no immediate response to a request for comment.
There were 23,712 signatures filed against Sen. Van Wanggaard of Racine, with 15,353 needed to allow a recall election. The board staff recommended striking 643 of those, leaving more than enough for the recall to move forward. The board staff recommended striking 11 apparently fraudulent signatures because of information provided by the Racine County Sheriff's Department, the memo said.
There were 21,022 signatures submitted against Sen. Pam Galloway of Wausau, with 15,647 signatures needed in that case to force a recall. The board staff recommended striking 1,658 of those, leaving more than enough of them to force a recall.
There were 20,907 signatures submitted against Sen. Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls and 14,958 needed. The board staff recommend striking 1,212 signatures, leaving enough to force a recall election

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