The Government Accountability Board requested an additional two weeks to complete the review of the signatures supporting the recall of Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican senators, despite also announcing the likelihood of denying the senators’ challenges. A statement from the GAB’s petition review staff said they would not be able to finish the reviewing of the 1.9 million signatures by March 19. They are requesting the deadline be moved to March 30, which would result in the primary for Walker’s recall election on May 15, with the general election slated for June 12. These extensions require a judge’s approval. The statement from the GAB also said the staff recommended the board dismiss challenges from the four Republican senators to the petitions, which, if the board dismisses them, would officially trigger recall elections for the senators.
Republican Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, Sen. Van Wangaard, R-Racine, Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls and Sen. Pam Galloway, R-Wausau, previously filed challenges questioning the validity of the recall petitions filed against them, claiming the signatures were improperly collected. The GAB plans to further address the details around the complaints of the four Senate recall petitions and other recall petition issues in a Monday meeting.
Erin Sievert, spokesperson for the Committee to Elect Lori Compas, a recall campaign against Fitzgerald, said she is pleased but not surprised by the development. “We knew right away that the challenges presented by Senator Fitzgerald were pretty weak, and that all of the signatures that we collected were collected in good faith,” Sievert said. “The senator was just throwing everything at the wall to see if something sticks.”