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Monday, February 27, 2012

 12:34 PM 

Walker wants third-party review of recall petitions considered

Gov. Scott Walker, declining to file a challenge himself, wants the GAB to consider a review by two Tea Party groups to determine if recall signatures filed against him are valid.

But a GAB spokesman said the agency is not allowed to consider third-party challenges under state law.

In Walker's filing, now posted at the GAB site, the guv restates his position that he was not given enough time to review the signatures filed against him and says his campaign only got through 350,000.

He demands the GAB to identify and strike duplicate and fictitious names, as well as those where the agency cannot determine if the signer is a qualified elector.

The GAB has said it would strike duplicate and fictitious names. But state law does not require it to check if someone is a qualified elector, and residents do not have to be registered to vote to sign a recall petition.

The guv also points out the groups Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty and We the People Republic have been working on their own review of the recall petitions, an effort dubbed "Verify the Recall."

Walker says the GAB has been referring people who have concerns their names were improperly included in the petitions to the Verify the Recall effort even though state law prohibits the campaign from coordinating with such groups. Thus, the brief argues, anything found by the Verify the Recall effort should count as a challenge to the petitions.

GAB spokesman Reid Magney said the agency has been referring people who have concerns to the state GOP, which has been helping Walker's campaign review the petitions and is allowed to do so under state law. It also has encouraged them to contact the officeholder targeted for recall if they have concerns as well as mentioning the Verify the Recall effort.

But it cannot accept a challenge filed by a third-party group. State law only allows the targeted officeholder to challenge signatures on a recall petition.

"If we receive documentation from Verify the Recall, we will certainly look at it for information to improve the process," Magney said. "We will look at it for any potential fraud they uncover. But we cannot consider it as a challenge under state law."

-- By JR Ross

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