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Official: Recall review to take more than 60 days, cost $100,000

Court orders a more stringent examination of petition signatures.

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Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 5:56 am, Fri Jan 13, 2012.

MADISON -- An extensive court-ordered review of signatures submitted to recall Gov. Scott Walker and five others will take longer than the planned 60 days and require the state to invest $100,000 in new software, the head of the state board charged with that process said Thursday.

Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy said it was not clear exactly how much longer the review will take under the more stringent verification process ordered by a judge last week.

With a 60-day review and a primary -- assuming no other delays caused by lawsuits or other action -- the general election would not have taken place until late May. A longer review process could push an election into June or later.

Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators are being targeted for recall by a coalition of groups including organized labor and the Democratic Party. The hope is to have all qualifying recall elections on the same date, but that depends on individual challenges, said GAB spokesman Reid Magney.

Petition organizers are expected to submit an estimated 1.5 million signatures on the six petitions Tuesday. The verification process will start shortly after that.

State law requires the board to complete the review in 31 days, but Kennedy requested more time because of the number of signatures being submitted.

Originally, the board said the burden of finding fake and duplicate signatures rested with those targeted for recall.

But the state Republican Party and Walker's campaign sued, saying it was the board's responsibility to ferret out duplicates and obviously phony names such as Mickey Mouse.

Last week, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Mac Davis agreed and ordered a more detailed review by the board.

The four targeted GOP senators are Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, of Juneau, Pam Galloway, of Wausau, Terry Moulton, of Chippewa Falls, and Van Wanggaard, of Racine.

Fitzgerald on Thursday filed a complaint with the GAB, arguing that petitioners must turn in their petitions by Friday since that is the 60th day after the effort started Nov. 15. The law gives petitioners 60 days to collect signatures.

The GAB circulated a Department of Justice memo that said the clock didn't start until Nov. 16, the day after recall committees registered, meaning signatures can still be collected Saturday and are not be due until the next business day, which is Tuesday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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