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Friday, January 06, 2012

Judge RE: Walker Recall: 'signature of Bugs Bunny is something only lawyers could try to make seem OK'

By Susan Duclos

It was reported in December that the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) decided they did not have to check signatures on recall petitions against Governor Scott Walker, obvious fraudulent names being on those petitions, examples used were Mickey Mouse, Adolph Hitler, etc...

Suspicious signatures will be noted when the Government Accountability Board reviews the petitions, but reviewers will look to see that signatures are accompanied by a Wisconsin address and are dated as having been signed during the circulation period, board elections specialist David Buerger said.

"We will flag them, but we will not strike them without challenge," Buerger said after being asked whether Mickey Mouse's signature would be counted. He noted that in previous recall petitions, Adolf Hitler's name was struck because the address given was in Germany, not because of the name itself.

The board unanimously approved the board's plan for reviewing the petitions.

On Dec. 15, 2011 Walker's campaign committee and Stephan Thompson, executive director of the state Republican Party, asked the courts to order the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board to do their due diligence in actively seeking out and eliminating duplicate and fictitious signatures and illegible addresses in recall petitions.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis did exactly that.

Via WisLawJournal:

At issue were statements made earlier by the GAB, the agency that reviews recall petitions and decides whether a recall is warranted. The board had said state law required that it verify the legitimacy of addresses on the petitions, but that it was up to targeted office-holders to challenge fake names such as Bugs Bunny.

Judge Mac Davis disagreed. He said the board must “apply sound judgment and discretion” in flagging and possibly investigating names that seem suspect.

Davis’ ruling concludes a lawsuit filed last month by Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and the head of the Wisconsin Republican Party against the Government Accountability Board. The lawsuit asked that a judge require the board to work harder to look for and eliminate duplicate signatures, illegible signatures and obviously fake names.

Judge Davis definitely gets the quote of the day with the comment in his ruling which states "Counting the signature of Bugs Bunny is something only lawyers could try to make seem OK." (Via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)