Monday is deadline for Walker to challenge recall petitions

MADISON -- The deadline is Monday, February 27th for Governor Scott Walker's campaign to turn in challenges to the recall petitions. Many are wondering if there's any chance a recall election could be stopped.

"He said he wants this election as soon as possible. If that was true, and he's already said there's going to be enough signatures to trigger an election, he wouldn't be doing any of this," Wisconsin Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski said.

Observers expect the Walker campaign to challenge thousands of signatures. Recently, the campaign said it has reviewed less than half of the signatures, and was finding a 15 to 20 percent error rate. "There were circulators that didn't sign the petitions. There were missing addresses. There were dates that were out of sequence. There were a lot of problems," Dan Hunt with the conservative group "Citizens for Responsible Government" said.

Hunt does not work for the Walker campaign, but as a veteran of the process, he says the challenge deadline is significant. "It's actually significant in that we will see the full scope of what happened during the recall," Hunt said.

Hunt says the challenge process will reveal the number of signatures actually collected. Democrats say they collected more than a million signatures. If that number were accurate, nearly half of the signatures submitted would have to be thrown out to stop an election.

"For months, we had to listen to Scott Walker himself and all the Tea Party Republicans scream about fake petitions, ignoring the fact that what was really happening was a rejection of Scott Walker," Zielinski said.

Governor Walker wanted an additional two weeks to review the signatures, but an extension was denied by a Dane County judge. His campaign and the Republican Party declined to comment until the challenges are officially filed. Once that's done, Democrats have five days to file rebuttals, and then Walker has two days to reply to the rebuttals.

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board then has 14 days to determine if the challenge is either sufficient or insufficient.