Six Republicans running as Democrats in this spring’s recall elections should be allowed a place on the ballot, state election officials said Monday. The state Government Accountability Board is scheduled to vote today on whether to disqualify the candidates. Board attorney Michael Haas wrote in a memo to the board that the candidates should be allowed to run because state law doesn’t require people to prove they belong to any political party before they can run for office. Voters can condone or condemn the candidates at the polls, Haas wrote. “(The candidates’ actions) are products of political calculation and decision-making, and as such they can be rewarded or rejected during the course of the campaigns and the elections,” Haas wrote. Democrats have forced Gov. Scott Walker and five other Republicans into recall elections to punish them for passing a contentious law last year that stripped public workers of their union rights. The GAB has scheduled elections for May 8 and June 5. The state Republican Party openly recruited candidates to run as fake Democrats in every race. The move ensures a Democratic primary will be held in every race May 8. That means no Republican incumbent will have to face a general election that day, when Democrats will be out in force to pick their gubernatorial challenger.
Democrats filed a complaint with the GAB last week alleging that the fake Democrats committed election fraud, contending Republicans falsely represented themselves as Democrats on candidate registration papers filed with the board and on their nomination papers. The state GOP filed a response with the GAB late Monday afternoon, calling the complaint baseless. The party maintained that Wisconsin’s election system doesn’t require any candidate to demonstrate an allegiance to any party and the board doesn’t have the power to create a “party purity” requirement. The GOP also pointed out the board allowed fake Democrats to run in state Senate recall elections last summer.