Judge says GAB must eliminate fake recall petition names

WAUKESHA -- A Waukesha County judge has ruled in favor of The Friends of Scott Walker forcing the Government Accountability Board to take stronger action against fake recall signatures.

The lawsuit filed by Governor Walker's campaign wanted the GAB to look for and eliminate duplicate signatures, illegible signatures and obviously fake names. The GAB countered that state law requires it to presume signatures are valid as long as they're properly dated and have Wisconsin addresses. It says the burden of challenging signatures is on the office-holder being targeted.

Thursday in Waukesha County Court, Judge Mac Davis ruled that the GAB will have to "take affirmative steps" to remove fake or duplicate names from recall petitions. Exactly what that means for the GAB hasn't been made crystal clear at this point. It could mean more people checking petitions, and it could mean changes to how they are doing the checking, but it will likely mean more money spent in this recall effort - money that Governor Walker's campaign now does not have to spend.

The recall effort was motivated in part because of Walker's proposal that effectively ended collective-bargaining rights for public workers.