Dear Editor: “I personally circulated this recall petition and personally obtained each of the signatures on this paper. I know that the signers are electors of the jurisdiction or district represented by the officeholder named in this petition. ... I know their respective residences. I personally circulated this recall petition and personally obtained each of the signatures on this paper. ... I am aware that falsifying this certification is punishable under S.12.13(3)(a), Wis. Stats.”
So reads the declaration that every recall petition circulator must sign and date at the bottom of each sheet. They are directed to certify they know every signer recorded on their petitions, as well as each signer’s respective residence. Whoever violates the above law is guilty of a Class I felony, according to a related statute.
On Dec. 1, I stopped in front of our local post office, where two men had set up shop to collect signatures to recall Gov. Scott Walker. I signed their petition to test them. I did not know these guys at all, and I am almost certain neither of them knew me.
If the petition carrying my name and address was certified by the circulator and forwarded for the recall, it is fraudulent and should be declared invalid.
It is likely that thousands of signatures collected at public places — all those signed by complete strangers to the recall petition circulators — are as illegal as the one I signed.
Will the Wisconsin elections division make a sincere effort to investigate suspected petition fraud? Or will the obviously dishonest recall efforts result in uncontested victories, costing Wisconsin taxpayers millions of dollars for more elections? Hopefully justice will prevail!
Editor’s note: According to the Government Accountability Board, the wording in the petition requires the circulator and the petition signer to be in the same place when the petition is signed. In other words, the argument made in the letter is incorrect.