Elections Chief Wants More Time to Review Walker Recall Petitions
If the request is granted by a judge, a likely recall primary election would be held on May 15, with the general election on June 12.
The state's top election official plans to ask a judge for more time to review the Gov. Scott Walker recall petitions, which would push the date of a possible recall election back to May or June.
Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy on Friday recommended the GAB board request an push its deadline back from March 19 to April 6. Kennedy said his staff cannot complete its work on the recall petitions against Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch until at least March 30.
If the board moves forward with Kennedy's request at its meeting on Monday, the matter would go before Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess on Wednesday. If Niess grants the extension and the recall election was ordered on the newly proposed deadline, a recall election would be held on May 15. If a primary were required — which is likely in the governor's race — it would be held May 15 and the general election would be held June 12.
If a recall election was ordered on the original March 19 deadline, the recall primary would take place May 1, and the general election on May 29, the day after Memorial Day.
In a statement, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, an announced Democratic candidate for governor, said she sees no reason why the election should be delayed because Walker has conceded there are enough signatures.
“This unprecedented delay will deny the will of the more than one million people who have followed the letter of the law to hold this election now," the Falk campaign said in a statement. "This move will disenfranchise them and it will disenfranchise thousands and thousands of university students across Wisconsin who will face obstacles for residency requirements never seen before in the history of Wisconsin thanks to the 28-day residency requirement in Gov. Walker’s voter suppression bill.
"We will pursue any and all means available to ensure Wisconsin’s university students are not disenfranchised by this unjustified and unnecessary delay.”
A May 15 primary election and a June 12 general election were the preferred dates expressed by county clerks. Kennedy said the proposed election schedule provides clerks with the most flexibility for addressing post spring election requirements without moving the election too close to Memorial Day.
Kennedy and the GAB staff on Friday confirmed there are enough valid recall petition signatures to order a recall election against four state senators, but Kennedy said the board should advocate to have those elections on the same day as a gubernatorial recall election to save taxpayers money.
A preliminary survey by the GAB shows a single statewide recall event will cost counties and municipalities at least $9 million, a primary would cost another $9 million, and a separate senate recall election would cost an additional $1 million in each senate district.