Residents connected to the recall efforts of three Democratic senators called for the states top election official to resign Tuesday, charging the agency he oversees is slanting recall results toward the Democrats.
The call for Kevin Kennedy, the director of the nonpartisan Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, to resign came after the agencys board voted Tuesday to move ahead with recall elections against three more Republican senators, while postponing its decision to vote on the petitions to recall three Democratic senators. Kennedy said the GAB needs more time to validate the signatures.
“It is an easy call for people to make,” Kennedy said in reference to calls for him to resign. “We are the referees, and the referees in any situation are going to be criticized.”
In a press release issued late Friday afternoon, the GAB announced its board would not vote on the validity of the recall petitions against the Democratic senators as originally scheduled and would only be voting on the recall petitions filed for the final three GOP senators.
This move angered residents attached to the efforts to recall Democratic senators David Hansen of Green Bay, Robert Wirch of Pleasant Prairie and Jim Holperin of Conover, prompting them to call for Kennedys resignation Tuesday.
But its not only the decision to postpone the vote that has some residents angry. Theyre also upset the delay could bump back the recall election date for Democratic senators.
Kennedy said GAB staff would be meeting with the state Department of Justice some time Thursday to decide if and when paperwork would be filed in Dane County Circuit Court asking for an extension to the June 3 deadline to finish validating the recall petitions against the Democratic senators. The GAB already was granted an extension by the court several weeks ago that gave the GAB until Friday to validate the historic number of recall petitions.
Pushing back the validation date could push back the election for the Democratic senators facing recall efforts, but the final decision is up to the court. If another extension is granted, the recall elections against Republicans could be held July 12, and the election for the Democratic senators could be a week later on July 19.