Recall efforts move forward
On Jan. 17, recall workers from across the state of Wisconsin filed over a million signatures on petitions in hopes of overthrowing Gov. Scott Walker in what is thus far the largest recall effort in American history.
For senior Jimmy Haggerty, it was an incredible feeling.
“It was great seeing the people of Wisconsin, not just Eau Claire itself, not even the campus itself, but the state as a whole, come together,” Haggerty said. “They’re making a statement that what Scott Walker is doing and what the Republicans in the Senate are doing is not right for the people, and it’s not what the people want.”
Though the recall petition numbers were a historic feat, it’s not over.
Haggerty, a political science major and former president of the College Democrats, said the Government Accountability Board has been granted a 30-day extension to review all the signatures.
Then Republicans have a 10-day challenge phase to look over each signature. Any discrepancies can be flagged and brought back to the GAB supervisor.
After this, typically six weeks pass and then the GAB will set an election date and depending on the number of Democratic candidates, there may be a primary to choose who will face Scott Walker in the recall election.
“The recall process is set up to be very difficult by definition,” said senior Paydon Miller, chairman of the College Democrats of Wisconsin.“540,000 (signatures) was a lofty number and to almost double that? Anyone who says that isn’t a strike against Scott Walker is either lying or delusional.”
But for the recall effort, there are still plenty of obstacles to pass. One-hundred eighty-five percent of the signatures required to force an election were there, but turning those numbers into votes isn’t a guarantee. And the approximately $9 million to hold an election (not counting the possible Democratic primary) doesn’t exactly warm voters to the idea, but Miller said the people of Wisconsin need this recall to go through, regardless.
He said that even if a person may have voted a certain way in 2010 or not at all, Walker’s actions warrant a groundswell of recall support.
“The fact is that what Scott Walker has done, what his administration has done, has woken up a lot of people that may not have been involved in the past,” Miller said. “People around the state are realizing that these things that they might not have cared about have real effects on the people they care about: their friends, their family, their peers.”
At UW-Eau Claire, Haggerty said the recall supporters will now try to get the word out about voting come election time. He said activity on campus will be relatively similar to any election.
“We’re going to get students registered, give them information about absentee ballots and do what we can to make sure whoever wants to vote can vote,” Haggerty said. “We’re not targeting just Democrats. Any student that wants to come up, that wants to register to vote, we’re going to help.”
Haggerty said that encouraging students to vote in general is much more important that catering to party lines. He said the recall workers will spread around the information that they have and let people draw their own conclusions.
“Even though we’re trying to recall the governor, the Republicans aren’t the enemy,” Haggerty said. “It’s the apathy.”