Republicans file lawsuit against GAB over recall process

MILWAUKEE -- This may only be the beginning of the fight over recall signatures. Republicans are suing state election officials, calling the process "unconstitutional."

A lawsuit filed by Governor Walker's campaign and the State Republican Party asks a judge to order the Government Accountability Board to look for and strike duplicate signatures and fake names from recall petitions.

This comes after GAB Director Kevin Kennedy says his staff won't automatically strike names, unless challengers point out a problem. But Republicans say they're trying to maintain the integrity of the recall process.

Stephan Thompson of the Wisconsin Republican Party says, "We would like the GAB, the Government Accountability Board, to actually take some accountability and make sure that multiple signatures and fake names are not counted."

Meanwhile, Democrats and the GAB say there are already checks and balances in place to catch those sort of things. Democrats accuse Republicans of screwing up the process.

Sachin Chheda of the Milwaukee County Democrats says, "They want to attack the democratic underpinning of the recall and how the recalls work because they want to reduce the legitimacy of the process."

Marquette Professor Rick Esenberg predicts the court will respond quickly to the lawsuit, and expects more suits to follow. He says, "It took what, about four months from beginning to end to get the senate recalls done. This is a much more complicated process because there are so many more signatures and the stakes are high. And trying to (check) that number of signatures is just incredibly difficult."

As for how litigation could stall a potential recall, it already seems unlikely that there will be an  election on the earliest possible date, which is in March.

The GAB has already said it will ask for 60 days instead of 31 to review the signatures and if the Democrats have a challenger there must be extra time for a primary.