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    Posted January 18, 2012 by
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    Wisconsin’s Recall Effort Makes U.S. History

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     mediaman was in Madison, Wisconsin, yesterday when hundreds of citizens delivered boxes of signed petitions in the recall effort against Governor Scott Walker. 'Seeing each box of petitions being walked in by common ordinary Wisconsin citizens from counties all over the state was inspiring. With each box being walked in, someone would shout out which county and city they were from. There was a genuine sense of pride in each of their faces,' he said.
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    Never before in American history has one state experienced as many state recalls of legislators as Wisconsin. In just the first year of office, it now appears the Wisconsin’s Governor, Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch are headed for a certain recall election this summer. In a stunning grass roots demonstration of voter engagement, nearly 2 million petitions have been collected in just 60 days to recall Walker, Kleefisch, and four Republican Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau. The total necessary of signatures to recall Walker was 540,208 or 25% of all votes cast in the November 2010 election. Over a million signatures were collected to recall the Governor alone. The total amount of signatures collected is the largest recall effort in United States history.

    Approximately 3000 pounds or 1.5 tons of petitions were delivered to the state Government Accountability Board (GAB) today in Madison, Wisconsin as hundreds cheered as box after box were carried into the GAB offices. A long line of fluorescent-vested volunteers lined a pathway for representatives from Wisconsin’s 72 counties to deliver recall petitions.

    Mike Tate, head of the Wisconsin Democratic Party commented, “This is the biggest day of my career.”

    Lisa Sheldon from Janesville, delivered petitions from Rock County in a wheelchair as she recovers from a foot injury. Sheldon proudly said, “There was no way I was going to miss this. The whole country is watching history being made today. We did it!”

    Alice Anderson, Debra Vaughn, and Carolyn Fisher stood shoulder to shoulder holding Recall Walker signs. Fisher, in a quiet but passionate voice said, “We are so excited, we are proud. We need to keep hope alive. She concluded, “The Governor picked the wrong state to do this!”

    In the GAB offices, stacks of boxes holding millions of signatures quickly grew. In a press conference, Kevin Kennedy, GAB Director and General Counsel said, “We have a big job ahead of us. “ Kennedy continued saying, “This is historic. It is an honor for me, for my staff to be part of this democratic process. Democracy will get a chance to have a voice, and now we must commit to the job of following the process.”

    It will be a daunting challenge to count nearly 2 million petitions. The GAB, which runs state elections, is planning to transport the petitions to a separate state building which will be guarded by Capitol police until all the petitions are electronically scanned. No specific date was given for a possible completion date. A video web site is being created for the public to view the petition review process.

    As the sun set behind the state Capitol, the crowds left the frigid Wisconsin downtown to attend a special United Wisconsin sponsored victory party at the Monona Terrace. In a scene which resembled a Democratic National Convention, approximately 3000 people gathered to celebrate the petition collection victory. On this night many Wisconsin citizens took time to celebrate an unprecedented and historic event. Up next, legal challenges and a looming recall election. The country will be watching. Stay tuned.

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