(Photo: REUTERS/Darren Hauck)
“Mickey Mouse” and “Adolf Hitler” will be counted as among those who petitioned for the recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, declared the Government Accountability Board (GAB) on Tuesday. The board unanimously decided that the questionable names on the forms could be counted so long as they are signed within the circulation dates and have a legitimate address.
The suspicious signatures will be “noted,” according to the GAB, but so long as a Wisconsin address and legitimate date is provided the names will count.
"We will flag them, but we will not strike them without challenge," David Buerger, board elections specialist, told WISN Milwaukee’s Channel 12. He noted that in previous situations the name of “Adolf Hitler” was discounted from petitions because the address given was in Germany and not because of the false name itself.
In order to successfully have Walker recalled, the petitioners must collect 540,208 signatures by Jan. 17 to force an election. According to Politico, as of Nov. 28 the ballots were at 300,000. The GAB plans to hire approximately 50 temporary workers to review what could be up to 1.5 million signatures, The Associated Press reports.
“I think everyone believes that the groups are on track to collect the signatures,” University of Wisconsin political scientist Barry Burden told Wisconsin’s Radio Network .
“Both Republicans and Democrats are betting on it. The progress they’ve made to this point suggests there’s a lot of enthusiasm for signing. Being halfway there with still six weeks to go, it looks doable to me.”
Mike Tate, Democratic Party of Wisconsin chairperson, spoke at a press conference Thursday, and said that volunteers will continue to canvass for signatures. According to The Patch, Tate set a new goal for the number of signatures: 720,277. This is reportedly one-third of the Nov. 2010 election turnout when Walker was elected the new governor.
"Scott Walker and the Koch Bros. think they can hold onto power by drowning out our voice with millions in false, misleading television ads. But now, we know that at least half a million Wisconsinites have risen to take back Wisconsin," Tate said according to The Patch.
Walker and the Wisconsin Republican Party have launched a website asking for supporters to submit leads about signatures that should not be counted. This includes any duplicate names. Walker will not be able to see the signatures until after they are submitted.
One man told ABC Wisconsin News that he has signed 80 petitions to recall Walker. According to ABC, the GAB Board’s director said that the legitimacy of signing multiple petitions comes down to “intent.”
"If a person is signing this with the intent of artificially inflating the number of signatures that are going to be turned in, or if they're signing it to argue these petitions are riddled with fraud, because anybody can do this, then they're committing fraud on the process," said Director Kevin Kennedy.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin has come out and said that this is a major issue that needs to be looked out. The Democratic Party responded by saying that they will weed out duplicates before submitting. However, there’s no guarantee that the board will catch duplicates.
In turn, the GAB told ABC that it is up to the office holder to catch the duplicates. Therefore, Walker and his campaign will have to tediously go through the petitions and catch any and all duplicate signatures.
After Walker receives the signatures, he has ten days to make any challenges to the legitimacy of the forms.
Walker's recall petition is the result of his legislation that would end the collective bargaining rights of state employees.
The Democratic and Republican Party of Wisconsin did not return calls from The Christian Post in time for publication.