February 13, 2016

Payments for petition signatures not illegal

Organizers of recall efforts against two Democratic senators are facing accusations of offering payment for signatures, but there may not be anything wrong with that.

State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) says an ad on craigslist offered $0.50 to sign a petition to recall him from office, and a resident of Senator Robert Wirch’s district reported a bartender was trading free shots for recall signatures. Reid Magney with the state Government Accountability Board says those offers don’t appear to actually break any laws.

Magney says GAB officials reviewed state laws and found no prohibition on offering anything in exchange for a signature on a recall petition. He says it would only be illegal if payments were being made to vote in an election.

While the GAB has not received any formal complaints yet, Magney says officials looked into the issue after hearing some of the claims that were being made.

Hansen and Wirch are two of the eight state Senators whom have had recall petitions turned in to the state in recent weeks.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (:52)

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