Dane County Judge Richard Niess today granted the Government Accountability Board an 11-day extension to inspect recall petitions for Governor Walker and Lt. Governor Kleefisch. The recall organizers and Republicans being targeted all agreed with the GAB’s request for more time. Attorney Joe Olson, who represents the four GOP state senators facing recall, said Niess’ ruling was “a result everyone thought was reasonable and necessary.”
The GAB said there are enough signatures to force recall elections against the senators, but stopped short of ordering the contests. It plans to order those elections on the new certification deadline of March 30. Recall elections for the governor and lt. governor will also be ordered on that date, if staff finds there are enough valid signatures.
Niess’ ruling means the likely recall elections will occur May 8 with general elections on June 5, for races with primaries. Wilson said combining the recall elections is “a big win for taxpayers.”
Jeremy Levinson, an attorney for the recall organizers, took jabs at the Republicans for their “unnecessary litigation,” but is pleased with the consensus: “Do you I like that today ended with a big bear hug? Sure, it’s a metaphor for something.”
Had the judge not given the Board more time to handle the petitions, the recall elections would have been held on May 1 and May 29. Clerks said the former date would’ve been too soon following the April 3 presidential primary and local elections; the latter date falls the day after Memorial Day.