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Appeals Court Vacates Waukesha Judge's Order on State Review of Recall Petitions

State elections chief says requiring a public searchable database would be expensive and impractical. The state might use a searchable database in its review and enter names, not addresses.

Updated (Feb. 3): An appeals court has vacated a Waukesha County Circuit Court's order that state elections officials do more to ferret out duplicate signatures on Recall Walker petitions, saying the court erred in not allowing recall organizers to intervene in the case.

The decision by the Court of Appeals District IV panel based in Madison means Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis will need to re-hear the case, allowing for input from representatives of both campaigns — that of Gov. Scott Walker and the recalls.

"We conclude that the recall committees are entitled to intervene as a matter of right," the appellate court ruled. "It cannot be seriously disputed that the recall committees have an interest in the procedures that will be used to review their recall petitions and strike names."

(Feb. 1 story): Making petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker available online in a searchable database would be too costly and labor-intensive, a state elections leader told WisconsinEye senior producer Steve Walters.

In a WisconsinEye video interview Wednesday, Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel of the Government Accountability Board, said that groups who are considering entering the 153,335 pages into a searchable database have "thousands" of volunteers, while the GAB has help from 50 reviewers.

"A searchable database wasn't something that was practical or economically feasible from our standpoint," Kennedy told Walters.

"When we do our duplicate review, we may have a searchable database but it will be limited just to names. We will not include addresses in that because our focus is only to implement that part of the court's decision that deals with being proactively looking for duplicates."

WisconsinEye.com has the full 23-minute video interview.

The GAB Tuesday evening after weighing the legality of whether names and addresses of domestic violence victims or other signers could be redacted for personal safety concerns. The decision: No redactions were made because unlike voting, signing a recall petition did not carry an expectation of privacy.

began analyzing hard copies of the recall petitions last weekend, and have said they have nearly 10,000 volunteers nationally willing to help verify the validity of the petition signatures.

Recall organizers say they have signatures from more than 1 million state residents, nearly double the estimated 540,000 required to schedule a gubernatorial recall election that would be only the third in the nation's history.

morninmist February 04, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Ah skinnyDUDE Lookie here: http://www.channel3000.com/politics/30373026/detail.html Appeals Court Overturns Ruling That GAB Look For Erroneous Signatures Petitions Turned In Last Month UpMADISON, Wis. -- A state appeals court has overturned a ruling by a Waukesha County judge that requires the Government Accountability Board to search for fake or duplicate signatures among the recall petitions targeting Gov. Scott Walker and other Republican lawmakers.The Wisconsin Court of Appeals vacated an order that would require state election officials to be more aggressive in ferreting out fake or duplicate signatures on recall petitions. The decision released Friday reverses a Waukesha County judge's decision and hands a victory to Democrats who wanted to intervene in a lawsuit related to recall signatures.Walker's campaign had sued the state Government Accountability Board, saying the GAB wasn't planning to be aggressive enough in tossing fraudulent signatures. Democratic recall committees wanted to intervene in the suit but were denied.The appeals court says the recall committees should have been allowed to participate.
Dean Michaels February 05, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Citizens that are against the recall were signing these petitions just to cause what is going on now, fully knowing it would call into question the validity of the signatures.
Dean Michaels February 05, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Bravo, I couldn't agree more.
Dean Michaels February 05, 2012 at 03:53 AM
More vindictive sillyness from the party of NO, Baggers are falling fast out of existence.
Terry February 05, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Important to note, it wasn't tossed on the merits of the case, but on a judicial ruling to exclude interested parties. Best not to plant the victory flag on the hill, until its decided which way the hill slopes.

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