All three Democratic state senators targeted for recalls will have to stand for election this summer after the board that oversees elections declined on Wednesday to invalidate petitions circulated against them, even though it found evidence of fraud.
The Government Accountability Board voted to reject thousands of signatures it determined were either fraudulent or collected by circulators through misleading means, such as saying the petition was for something other than recalling the Democrats.
But even after those signatures were tossed, more than enough remained to force recall elections for Sens. Jim Holperin of Conover, Dave Hansen of Green Bay and Bob Wirch of Pleasant Prairie.
The senators were targeted for the positions they took on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s divisive proposal taking away collective bargaining rights from most state workers.
The stakes in the recall efforts are huge. Since winning majorities in both chambers in the last election, Republicans have been able to advance their agenda unimpeded. If Democrats were to pick up three seats in recall elections, they would control the Senate and could block legislation.