Challenges filed by state Sen. Alberta Darling and three other senators against the recall petitions filed against them could push back the date of the recall elections, the state Government Accountability Board said Friday.
The board had tentatively set the date for all recall elections for July 12. However, that date was set before the four incumbents – Darling, and Democrats Jim Holperin, Robert Wirch and Dave Hansen – raised “numerous factual and legal issues” regarding the petitions, the board said.
Because of the time needed to investigate the challenges, the board said it will be unable to review all six recall petitions at its meeting on Tuesday. On that day, however, it will consider petitions filed against Darling and Republicans Robert Cowles of Green Bay and Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls.
The recall petitions for Holperin, of Eagle River, Wirch of Pleasant Prairie, and Hansen of Green Bay – will not be considered until late in the week of June 6. Those petitions are being reviewed because of claims of irregularities involving the firm that was hired to do the petition drive, the board said in a statement Friday.
Even after the board reviews those petitions and makes a decision regarding their validity, the matter likely will wind up in court. And that could result in a delay in the recall elections, the board said.
“Because of the strong likelihood that any finding of sufficiency or insufficiency by the board will be appealed to a circuit court, it is imperative that the issues raised by these challenges are fully examined, and that a complete record is created for a court to consider,” the statement said.
No decisions have been made yet about when the recall elections may be held, or whether the board will still be able to hold some or all the recall elections concurrently.