Recall petitions due in one week

WAUKESHA -- The deadline for recall organizers to turn in the thousands of signatures they've collected to try to force a recall election against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is just one week away, and both recall organizers and those supporting Governor Walker are gearing up!

Both Republicans and Democrats are getting ready for the big battle: the potential recall election against Governor Scott Walker. In just one week, we'll know if Democrats were able to collect enough signatures to force the Governor back on the ballot, just one year into his first term.

For nearly two months, volunteers have been collecting signatures to force the recall election, and now, that effort heads into its final week. "These are very committed people from all walks of life who have done this. It's a big push. A lot of folks have not signed yet, who want to, and they're going to get an opportunity," Graeme Zielinski with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin said.

The recall petitions must be turned in to the Government Accountability Board in Madison by January 17th. Organizers need 540,208 signatures to force an election, but Zielinski says the goal is much higher. "We want to send a message. We want to hit our mark of 720,000 signatures. If we hit that number, it'll be beyond any legal challenge, any logical challenge, any reasonable challenge to the recall of Scott Walker," Zielinski said.

Republicans say they intend to challenge the validity of petition signatures. Thousands of volunteers are being trained to do that in offices throughout the state. "We had to open (the office) just because of the amount of energy that's here in the area to support the Governor," Cathy Waller, executive director of the Waukesha GOP said.

The Waukesha office is one of ten that opened this week across the state, as Republicans ramp up their efforts to challenge signatures, and then run a recall campaign they see as unnecessary. "It's very frustrating. It's a lot of money being spent on something they could have waited on until the next election. That's what they have elections for. If you don't like what the person in office is doing, then you wait for the next election," Waller said.

The Democrats have an internal deadline of January 13th to have all their signatures collected. They plan to spend the weekend going through the petitions, weeding out the invalid signatures and putting them in order to present to the Government Accountability Board next Tuesday.

The State Democratic Party announced it had collected more than 500,000 signatures back in mid-December. The party says it will not release any more progress reports until the day it turns in the signatures.