Capitol Report: As recall petition is filed against third GOP senator, GAB seeks to consolidate recall election dates

2011-04-18T12:51:00Z 2012-05-22T17:35:25Z Capitol Report: As recall petition is filed against third GOP senator, GAB seeks to consolidate recall election datesJESSICA VANEGEREN |The Capital Times|

An effort is under way by the state Government Accountability Board to prevent confusion among voters by consolidating the number of recall election dates across the state.

Reid Magney, a GAB spokesman, said Monday the agency plans to file a petition in Dane County Circuit Court sometime this week seeking an extension to the 31-day period the agency now has to review signatures on completed recall petitions.

The third completed recall petition was turned in Monday, and it is likely a fourth will be coming shortly.

Given the fact the completed petitions were not all turned in on the same date, recall elections now could not be held on the same day. Under state statute, the recall election date must be set at the completion of the 31-day review period.

By obtaining an extension to the review period - say through the end of May for all the completed petitions - the GAB would have more leeway to schedule one recall election date by synching all the review periods to end at the same time.

"We probably won't get down to one (recall election date), but we are trying to hold as few as possible," Magney said. "Some of these senators have districts right next to each other and the way things are lining up, we would have a recall election every other week. We are trying to avoid public confusion."

The news comes the same day as the recall effort against Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, moved forward, with organizers turning in the required 14,733 signatures Monday morning.

Olsen is the third Republican senator now facing a recall election.

Completed recall petitions were filed earlier this month against Dan Kapanke of La Crosse and Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac.

Like Olsen, they are Republican senators. Kapanke is challenging the validity of the signatures on the petitions against him.

Graeme Zielinski, a spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said an announcement also will be made at a 6:30 p.m. rally in Menominee regarding the recall effort against Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls.

In all, eight Republican and eight Democratic senators are facing recall efforts over their positions on Gov. Scott Walker's controversial collective bargaining bill.

The eight Republicans voted in favor of stripping most collective bargaining rights from public workers. Organizers also are trying to recall Democrats who fled to Illinois for three weeks in an attempt to block the vote.



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