A recall election for Gov. Scott Walker would cost just more than $9 million without a primary and $17 million with a primary, according to numbers released Friday. The Government Accountability Board reached those estimates after receiving information from the state’s 72 counties. The work was done after Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester) made a request for the information.
“The costs are significant,” said Vos. “We asked for these figures, hoping that if people knew the cost, they would think twice.” After learning the recall elections in summer 2011 cost over $2 million, Vos wanted to know what a statewide recall would run. In a letter to the GAB back in October, Vos asked for an estimate, saying he wanted voters informed before petitions were circulated for Governor Scott Walker and other elected officials.
“I believe that Wisconsin taxpayers should know the estimated cost of running a statewide election before petitions are circulated. Taxpayers need this cost estimate so they can make a better informed decision as to how their tax dollars should be spent. This is essential information because the recall election costs will have a direct impact on all county and local government budgets,” he wrote.
On Jan. 6, the GAB returned a letter to Vos explaining how they compiled their figures. In a nutshell, the agency asked counties and municipalities to fill out a survey with estimates based on the November 2010 and April 2011 election costs. The numbers were broken down into county, municipality and GAB costs:
But Vos said that doesn’t tell the whole story since this figure is for one statewide election. The $9 million price tag does not include a possible primary.
“There is every indication the Democrats could have more than one candidate, plus you have to consider the potential of state senate recalls,” he said. “So, really, $9 million could just be the beginning, we could be talking as much as $20 million.”