Gov. Scott Walker’s June recall election and the primary held a month before it cost taxpayers more than $13 million, the board that oversees elections in Wisconsin reported Friday. The Government Accountability Board stressed that its findings were merely an estimate and not audited. The figures were reported at lawmakers’ request. State Rep. Robin Vos, a Republican critic of the recalls and the presumptive next speaker of the Assembly, said he’s “more committed than ever to recall the recalls” in Wisconsin. He called the $13.5 million price tag an “outrage.” Vos, currently co-chair of the Legislature’s budget-writing committee, said he will introduced a constitutional amendment that would only allow elected officials to be recalled if they committed a crime or malfeasance in office.
Under current law, office holders can be recalled for any reason as long as the required number of petition signatures is collected. More than 931,000 people signed petitions to recall Walker, although he went on to easily win the recall election. There appears to be strong public support for limiting recalls following 15 recall elections dating back to last year. Exit polls following Walker’s recall found that 60 percent of voters agreed with Vos’ idea that politicians should only face recalls for malfeasance or criminal activity. For that law change to take place, it would have to pass the full Legislature twice over two different sessions and then be approved in a statewide referendum.
Vos and other critics of the recall frequently pointed to their costs as one argument against them. Along with Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators faced recalls this year. One Republican lost, giving Democrats control of the state Senate through the end of the year. Recall supporters argued the costs were justified to hold the election that was essentially a referendum on Walker and supporters of his conservative agenda.
Full Article: Walker recall elections cost $13.5 million.