Walker recall organizers readying submission of signatures to GAB

CREATED Jan 16, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - Opponents of Wisconsin Republican governor Scott Walker were to turn in their recall petitions on Tuesday in the effort to remove him from office through a recall election.

It's shaping up to be a contentions and costly recall battle.

Recall offices like the one in Downtown Milwaukee have been extremely busy in the days leading up to the anticipated drop-off of recall signatures collected by volunteers.

Recall organizers were to turn in all those signatures to the Government Accountability Board.

"It's like the end of the first step," said Bill Drogemuller, a retired teacher who took part in the recall effort.

Democrats held so-called "petition parties" over the weekend to get last-minute signatures.

Organizers were confident they would surpass the 540,000 signatures they would need to force a recall election.

The first of three deadlines for Democrats came last week.

"There's over 25,000 people that went out this winter and circulated petitions.  This is a small token of our thanks and gratitude, and really an opportunity to celebrate what we believe will be a historic event on Tuesday," said Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate.

Verifying signatures on the petitions could take a long time, and could be costly.

Overall, the recall could cost Wisconsin $9 million.

"This selfish effort is expected to cost our local governments millions of dollars, but the Democrats continue to show that no price is too high for a grab at the Governor's mansion," said a spokesman in a Republican Party of Wisconsin statement to TODAY'S TMJ4.

Governor Walker's campaign and the Republican Party sued the Government Accountability Board over the responsibility for verifying signatures.

The GAB is now legally responsible to make sure bogus names and duplicates are not counted.

"Our staff right now is still working on figuring out exactly the best way to go about implementing the judge's orders," said Reid Magney, a GAB spokesman.

The GAB initially thought it would cost $650,000 to verify signatures, but now a spokesperson says it could cost up to $750,000 and take up to eight weeks.

"After they file the petitions, we'll know how many signatures we are dealing with, which is going to help determine how much additional time we need to process them," explained Magney.