The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in the state, is poised to approve recalls for three Republican state senators, as the process unfolds in the wake of Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union legislation.
The GAB staff has recommended to the board — which is made up of retired judges selected through a non-partisan process — to approve recalls against state Sens. Dan Kapanke, Randy Hopper and Luther Olsen, when the board meets this Monday. As the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, these were the first three legislators to have recall signatures filed against them.
The GAB staff memorandum notes that the board will meet again next Monday, May 30, to take up the business of six other pending recall petitions: Republicans Sheila Harsdorf, Alberta Darling and Rob Cowles, and Democrats Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin and Robert Wirch.State election officials are proceeding on a timeline to hold the recall elections all at once, on July 12, following an unsuccessful legal attempt by the Dems to have the Kapanke, Hopper and Olsen recalls held earlier.
The state Senate currently has a 19-14 Republican majority, with Democrats hoping to pick up three seats in recall elections and win a majority. In order to initiate a recall, signatures of at least 25 percent of the number of voters in the previous gubernatorial election, within the targeted district, must be collected in a 60-day window.
Under Wisconsin’s recall law, elected officials must have served at least one year of their term before being recalled — thus exempting the half of the Senate that was just elected in 2010. In addition, Dems have also declared their intention to recall Walker himself next year, when the one-year exemption runs out