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Recall Signatures Need Public Review

Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester) says public review of recall signatures helps preserve the integrity of the process.

This week the reality of the upcoming recall election hit taxpayers statewide.  At least $9 million dollars of their tax dollars will be spent on the recall election of Governor Walker.  Now that several Democratic candidates have announced their intentions to run for that post, that $9 million cost will likely double due to a primary election day.  It is unfortunate and unnecessary cost for taxpayers and local governments.  Historically nationwide recall elections of governors fail and I am confident that this one will fail, too.  

The general electorate is already fatigued with the recall process especially in light of the GAB's initial announcement of allowing petition signatures of Mickey Mouse.   In the taxpayer's best interest and in order to restore the integrity of this election process, I have made a simple request to the Government Accountability Board (GAB). 

In this letter, I asked that the recall petitions be made public on a searchable website.  For the sake of transparency in government, this public document should be displayed and searchable on the internet  (To see the letter in pdf form, click on the picture to the left.)

My office has spoken to a representative at the GAB who has said that they would like to make it possible to make these documents searchable, but are still looking into the matter.  I believe that every Wisconsin citizen should have an easy way to type in his/her name and address and see if someone forged their name on this document.  I understand that the GAB staff have a major challenge ahead of them in verifying these signatures.  I'm sure additional help from the citizens of Wisconsin would be greatly appreciated.

GearHead January 21, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Vos' request makes perfect sense. It is easy enough for a citizen to walk down his block to check the validity of an address, and to know who resides there. Vacant lots and bogus addresses should be pretty easy to sort out. This would be why the Democrats would be against this, of course
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) January 21, 2012 at 07:37 PM
I disagree, @Gearhead. Voting ballots are secret and the GAB has appropriately been charged with verification. I believe the names on the petitions should follow the same examples of ballots and let the agency do their job. Especially given the climate of extreme divisiveness we have in Wisconsin, I worry about neighbors knowing how their neighbors sided on this issue. In short, it's none of your business how I vote and thus, it's none of your business if I signed a petition.
GearHead January 21, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Your wrong Heather, it is NOT a vote. It is a petition, and as such is an open record. Besides you can always hide behind the idiotic fig leaf of "I supported him, before I didn't support him." We would be lead to believe there are thousands holding this view. If that is the case all the better, because we now will know who the crybabies are. "Know thy enemy" somebody notable (Sun Tzu) once said. And Harry S. Truman reminds us "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." It's high time the troublemakers defend themselves for their outrageous actions, including your neighbor. Enough hiding in the dark, Heather. Let's shine a bright light on this whole recall thing. If you are squirming, perhaps it's because you signed before you thought any of this through.
GearHead January 21, 2012 at 08:23 PM
And I can see where some intrepid journalist looking for a Pulizer can make their mark as the gross pettition fraud comes to light. This isn't funny.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) January 21, 2012 at 08:47 PM
@Gearhead - it doesn't matter who supported whom when because people are allowed to change their minds. And while I agree that signing a petition is not nearly the same level as a ballot, I still think that whether or not I support the recall is not my neighbor's business any more than for whom I voted at election time. You can say the recall supporters are troublemakers, but the truth is that they are exercising a right granted by the state constitution. On a personal level, I already put out an editorial stating where I stand on the recall: I do not support it because I feel recall should be saved for criminal acts or true malfeasance in office. We have an election process and I respect it too much to recall for anything other than the reasons I just stated.
GearHead January 22, 2012 at 12:10 AM
We agree more than we disagree. But just because it is a "right" doesn't make it right. And they are troublemakers. We've had to suffer their pompous rightiousness for months on end and are ready to fire back. The crybaby crowd who survive on the backs of the taxpayer (and complain every step of the way that it is never enough) can expect to get outed for the ingrates they are. We are at ground zero of what has become a national issue.
Kevin Presser January 22, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Heather, I agree with the idea of a searchable data base. Not for the reason to check who signed the petition, but to make sure that no one signed my name and address on a petition. This is important as the GAB had to be forced to verify address and signatures by the court. Relying on the subjects of the recall to challenge signatures, is in my opinion, shirking their duty.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) January 22, 2012 at 03:50 AM
@Kevin - my understanding is that the recall guidelines say the subject of the recall is responsible for challenging, but I agree that the GAB should always have had the task. Unfortunately, people will use the database for more than to make sure their name isn't on a petition when it shouldn't be ...
Cynthia January 22, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Big story should be out Tuesday..............

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