WI Democrats File Formal Challenge Against Suspicious Recall Petitions Submitted by Republicans
At a press conference Thursday afternoon, the Wisconsin Democratic Party announced their formal challenge to all three recall petitions filed against Democratic state Senators. The DPW is alleging widespread fraud, and some of the specifics of their challenge are brutal:
- Senate District 12: Of the 534 people contacted who had signed the petition, 9.2% indicated they were misled into signing the petition or asserted they had never signed.
- Senate District 22: Of the 225 people contacted who had signed the petition, 6.6% indicated they were misled into signing the petition or asserted they had never signed.
- Senate District 30: Of the 372 people contacted who had signed the petition, 8.6% indicated they were misled into signing the petition or asserted they had never signed.
- Affidavit of a World War II veteran from Green Bay who was misled into signing a recall petition. Upon learning he had been duped, veteran called the sheriff to get his name removed. When confronted, the circulator claims he will remove the name, but a later review of the petitions reveals the veteran's name was never crossed off.
- Many affidavits attesting that Circulator Sherri Ferrell - who gathered nearly 3,000 signatures in two districts -- gathered signatures on Indian reservations claiming petitions were to support "schools," "Democrats," and "tribal rights."
- Affidavit of voter in Senate District 22 attesting that circulator John Prijic claimed the petitions were for work to be done on a local park.
- Affidavit of voter in Senate District 30 attesting that circulator Annette Lord claimed the petitions were to recall Republican Senator Cowles.
- Affidavit of voter in Senate District 30 attesting that circulator Richard Madrill claimed the petitions were to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
- William Pocan’s forged name appears on line 10, page 362 of circulator Kevin Pursell’s petition. As his widow Corinne Pocan’s affidavit attests, William Pocan has been deceased 20 years, although his name remains in the phone book. Pursell circulated numerous pages.
- Claims by many Wisconsin citizens who were misled by out-of-state circulators who claimed they could sign on behalf of other people.
- Numerous examples of fake addresses and signatures appearing on GOP recall petitions, as well as sloppily gathered signatures also missing critical information.
Now, even if Wisconsin Democrats succeed in getting 10% of the signatures tossed because the signers were misled, the petitions will still stand. Republicans submitted between 132% and 151% of the signatures required (see below), depending on whether you believe the high-end or low-end estimate, and also depending on which district is in question. However, if more signatures are tossed because some information was faked, and if the low-end estimate of the number of signatures filed (132%-136%) is accurate, then it becomes quite possible one or more of these petitions will be successfully challenged.
Recall petition signature estimates
Republicans are also submitting challenges to the recall petitions submitted by Democrats. So far, they have challenged four of the six recall petitions Democrats filed.
The emphasis of the Republican challenges are different (despite what the linked article says), based primarily upon the recall petition organizations supposedly not filing necessary paperwork. Since even the low-end estimate for the number of signatures filed by Democrats ranges from 142% to166% of the required signatures, they have to adopt that strategy. There is simply no way Republicans can get enough signatures tossed to make the remaining number of signatures insufficient.
Now, these challenges won't actually come into play until early June:
The filings of sufficiency or insufficiency for each recall petition would be filed between May 31 and June 3, which would clear the way for all of them to be held July 12, pending any legal challenges of the board's findings.
This timeline suggests that the recall elections might actually be later than July 12, given that these numerous legal challenges could slow things down. So stay tuned, but prepare for July 12.