Challenges brought against recall petitions targeting several state Senators are forcing the Government Accountability Board to delay certifying special elections. The GAB was scheduled to meet Tuesday, May 31st to address challenges to the six remaining recall petitions; three targeting Republicans and three targeting Democrats.
However, the agency says the numerous factual and legal issues raised about some of the petitions could result in court action, so it’s delaying decisions on petitions targeting Democrats until the week of June 6th.
The petitions being held off are those against Jim Holperin (D-Conover), Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie), and Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay). Those candidates and party officials have alleged circulators used fraud to gather recall signatures.
A Board spokesman says staff has been working to verify nearly 200,000 signatures submitted on 20,748 pages of petitions. That’s also as the agency administered spring elections, conducted a statewide recount in the state Supreme Court race, and began preparing for implementation of Wisconsin’s new voter photo ID law.
The Board will still meet on Tuesday to take up challenges to recall petitions filed against Republicans Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay), and Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls).
The GAB on May 23rd already certified the petitions filed against Senators Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse), Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac), and Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and dismissed challenges brought by their campaigns.
All of the recall elections were originally planned to take place on July 12th. A GAB spokesman says they are now working with the Department of Justice to address a June 3rd deadline that had been set to certify the petitions. Possible court action could also delay the targeted date for holding the elections.