- Posted January 18, 2012 by
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Wisconsin’s Recall Effort Makes U.S. History
- zdan, CNN iReport producer
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.