GOP Files Suit to Force Election Officials to Strike Invalid, Duplicate Walker Recall Signatures
With election officials saying they wouldn't automatically toss out duplicate or fake names like Mickey Mouse or Adolf Hitler from petitions, GOP says the process of reviewing signatures is unconstitutional.
Gov. Scott Walker and the Friends of Scott Walker have filed suit against the state election board, arguing its process of reviewing petitions circulated in the recall effort against the governor is unconstitutional.
Filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Thursday, the suit asks the Government Accountability Board, the state agency that oversees elections, to vet and strike duplicate signatures and fake names from petitions submitted in the ongoing recall effort against Walker.
The lawsuit was filed after election officials said a few weeks ago, that there’s no prohibition on signing recall petitions more than once and the agency would not automatically strike names like Mickey Mouse and Adolf Hitler from the petitions — as long as those signatures were dated and had Wisconsin addresses.
One man told a Milwaukee television station that he put his signature on recall petitions more than 80 times.
The lawsuit argues allowing multiple signatures are a violation of the equal protection clauses of the state and U.S. constitutions and that those who sign several times end up trumping the voice of those who chose not to sign.
The GAB has said it's up to challengers to point out problems and the board would not automatically toss out the signatures for those reasons.
Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairperson Mike Tate said at a press conference Thursday, volunteers have a comprehensive process of vetting signatures, and they have stricken duplicate or invalid signatures from petitions.
"We have a very extensive signature verification process that goes through and makes sure that petitions we hand in are valid," Tate said.
"There will be some errors on them; there are obviously some people that will sign Mickey Mouse to try to mess with the process and give the Republicans a few good talking points," he added, "but I am extremely convinced that not only are we are doing our due diligence, but that there is … hundreds of thousands of residents that have accurately signed these petitions that want to recall Scott Walker.”