• WisPolitics


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

 5:48 PM 

GAB unsure how long recall review will take

Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy said this afternoon said the agency is unsure how long it will need to finish its review of recall petitions.

Under state law, the GAB has 31 days to review a recall petition, but can seek more time. Kennedy told reporters during a briefing that he expects to go to Dane County circuit court "soon" to request an extension, but said he didn't know when that would be or how long the agency would seek in an extension.

"We're not even sure if we'll give an exact time," Kennedy said of the planned request for an extension.

He said GAB staff began scanning petitions this afternoon utilizing new software purchased after a Waukesha County judge ordered the GAB to strike faulty signatures. Previously, that burden fell to the campaign challenged by the recall effort.

Kennedy said he expected the agency to finish scanning the petitions by the end of the week.

The agency had sought 50 temporary workers to help in the review, but Kennedy said it had 30 on board as of today. The prohibition against hiring temp workers who had signed the recall petitions was a limiting factor in getting temp workers from the Madison area, he said.

Nevertheless, he said he is "confident that we have the people and equipment in place to get the job done."

The petition review process will take place at a state-owned facility in Madison, but the specific location will not be disclosed at the request of law enforcement. Kennedy said a webcast of the process would be available through the GAB's website and that the database of names on the petition would be made available to the public.

Once the scanning is done, Kennedy said two workers would check every petition, and that any suspicious signatures found would then be reviewed by the GAB's permanent staff. All challenged signatures would face a vote before the six-member GAB when the board decides on certification of the elections.

Kennedy said the board is committed to reviewing the petitions as efficiently as possible, but said there's no precedent for certifying an election without reviewing each signature. He said that issue, among others, could ultimately be resolved in court.

Recall organizers submitted more than 1 million signatures for the governor, while just 540,208 valid signatures are needed to trigger a recall in that office.

"We have no dog in this fight. Our job is to do our job," Kennedy said. "That's how we're approaching this, and we do it within the resources that we have."

Listen to the press conference here.

-- By Andy Szal

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