A Dane County judge has denied a request from Governor Walker’s campaign for more time to review recall petitions. Walker’s campaign wanted an extra two weeks, but Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess says there’s no just cause to show more time is warranted.
During a hearing on the request Friday afternoon, attorneys with Walker’s campaign argued that they have only been about to review about 330,000 of the nearly one million signatures recall organizer say they turned in. Of those, the campaign says it has seen an error rate of about 15 to 20-percent that could result in valid challenges.
Judge Niess says that kind of rate shows that, statistically, more time for a review is unlikely to have an impact on the outcome.
Niess said “If we are up to 300,000 signatures that have been vetted, and 10 to 20-percent are arguably invalid based upon Governor Walker’s review, we are, when we get to a million, going to have a boatload of extra signatures.”
AUDIO: Judge Niess’ ruling (7:28)
Joe Olsen, an attorney with the law firm representing the governor’s campaign, called the decision disappointing. However, he says they will continue to work toward the February 27th deadline for turning in petition challenges.
Recall committee attorney Jeremy Levinson says the judge’s decision backs up their belief that there are more than enough valid signatures on the petitions. Levinson says he was gratified to see there will not be additional delays in the process.
Judge Niess had previously granted Walker 30 days to review the petitions, which is 20 days more than the law requires.
The Government Accountability Board has until March 19th to rule on whether there are enough valid petition signatures to call for an election.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:08)