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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WI Dems Organizing To Challenge "Recall Wirch" Petitions

I posted yesterday about how Recall Wirch expects to submit several thousand more signatures than required for a recall election of Democratic state Senator Robert Wirch, who fled along with 13 other Democrats to Illinois.

Now Democrats are organizing to challenge as many of the signatures as they can, through a data entry program.  From the Defend Wisconsin website:
The GOP-led campaign to recall Democratic Senator Bob Wirch is reported to be filing the requisite signatures next week. We will then have just 2-3 days to enter over 20,000 signatures. Consequently, efforts are underway to compile a list of volunteers who will be ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice.  If you are interested in helping with data entry, please see the following message from Nick Niles, Recall Volunteer Outreach Coordinator at Wisconsin Progress:
I am writing to ask for your help with a special project. As you’re very well aware the Republican’s have been working to gather recall signatures against some members of the heroic “Dem 14.” We expect that the GOP will submit these signatures as soon as next week.

Rumors are that the quality of these signatures is less than prefect. We want to make sure that each one of these signatures is valid and from the district by individually checking and entering them line by line. This will give us the best chance of catching any invalid signatures.

This will not be an easy task. Volunteers will need to verify over 20,000 signatures in a period of 2 to 3 days. In order to meet this goal, we will need an army volunteers ready to enter data. As an added twist, we will not have much notice before the Republicans submit these signatures. This basically means that we need an army of people ready to assemble with less than a days notice....
You can help the Recall Wirch effort by donating at their website or here.  They have collected signatures with little help and almost no budget, but they will need resources to counter the signature challenges.

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  1. I don't know what the standards for signatures are in Wisconsin but my experience in PA tells me this is ruthless.
    First, if one signature on a page of signatures is bad for whatever reason, the whole page is thrown out. Signatures can be bad for a number of reasons .. some obvious, some not so obvious. Having a signature from outside the district of the "person of interest" will get the whole page tossed, for instance.

  2. Not challenging the signatures would be a surprise. The conservatives need to be likewise ready for recall petitions for the Republican Senators. When the Democrats file those petitions, not only should the signatures be checked for being in the district, but whether or not they are public employees. That would make an interesting web page: "Here are the names of public employees who want to recall this Republican Senator. Check their salary. Do you blame them?"

  3. Having been involved in a local recall, I think this is just how things are done. The officials we were targeting filed a challenge on every signature and forced the clerks to verify them one by one. The challenge has to list each signature by name, petition number and line number (in MI anyway) as well as the reason for the challenge. In our case, the official's challenge alleged that every one of the signatures "did not match the voter registration card on file". Out of several thousand, only a couple were invalidated.

  4. it'll never cease to amaze me that Democrats believe shirking one's responsibilities and running from a fight are "heroic."

  5. I just donated after I talked to someone at Recallwirch. Money is tight, but the bills are paid she said. Anything we can get is much appreciated.

    Thanks for the attention to our efforts, Professor.