Skip to comments.What if they held an election and the results didnít count?
Posted on 06/24/2011 4:54:37 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
Cash-strapped counties to fund election costs
MADISON Wisconsin's political parties may be trying every trick possible, from spoiler candidates to lawsuits, to manipulate the recall elections scheduled this summer.
But the people on the ground, who have little opportunity to affect the process, will be facing the consequences.
For the officials running the elections, it's a nasty and expensive headache that comes at the height of summer when employees typically take vacation, and voters' attention is anywhere but on elections.
For this time of year, its very hectic, Fond du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg said.
Still, candidates and campaign managers say they are proceeding as if no uncertainty exists and believe voters will, too.
"This is just political posturing by both of the parties," said David VanderLeest, who hopes to unseat state Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, after facing Rep. John Nygren in a Republican primary scheduled for July 19.
We're operating under the assumption that the election is going to be held July 12, said Josh Wolf, campaign spokesman for state Rep. Fred Clark, who faces a Democratic primary that day against Rol Church. They are vying to unseat Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon.
"Assumption," though, is the key word.
Wisconsinites living in six GOP-held state Senate districts wont know until at least July 7, five days before voting is scheduled to commence, if there will be recall primary elections held at all.
And even if the elections are held, the results may be discarded.
The electorate should proceed on the basis that the elections will go forward as scheduled, said Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess.
Recall elections are scheduled against nine senators three Democrats and six Republicans.
The Government Accountability Board has ruled that the recall petitions against all nine are valid and that recall elections should proceed.
Lawyers for the senators, however, have filed separate lawsuits arguing that the GAB, the state's election agency, was wrong and that the recall elections should not be held at all further complicating an already complex situation. Earlier this week, five lawyers representing Republican senators, Democratic senators, recall campaigns and the GAB and four judges met for about an hour to bring some semblance of order to the electoral process.
Including primaries, four election days are scheduled in various Senate districts around Wisconsin: July 12 and 19, and Aug. 9 and 16.
During the discussion, attorneys agreed to consolidate the 10 lawsuits that have been filed because the same legal arguments essentially are being made in all cases.
That will enable Niess, the judge now assigned to the case, to consider and rule on the validity of all the lawsuits at once, rather than hold separate hearings.
Niess offered to have a hearing this week, but lawyers from all sides say they need more time to finish preparing their legal arguments.
The first briefs are due Wednesday, and each side is given time to respond. Final responses are due July 7, at which time Niess will review the information and be able to rule on whether the elections should proceed.
Any delays, including requests from lawyers for oral arguments to be heard, could push back a ruling until after at least the July 12 primaries are held, perhaps longer.
If that happens, and Niess rules that one or more of the recall elections shouldnt have taken place, the elections themselves would be voided.
Were just going forward as if elections will proceed, said Kevin Kennedy, director of the GAB, which oversees the states electoral process.
Election officials, like Freiberg, have no other choice. Elections aren't organized in a day.
For any election, Freiberg has to work local media to publicize elections, find qualified poll workers, create the ballot, get it approved and, of course, pay for the whole thing.
Primaries now are scheduled in all nine Senate races, largely due to protest candidates running to force a primary. That effectively doubles the cost for counties involved in the recall voting, which have to hold two elections instead of one.
Freiberg said the recalls will cost $30,000 to $40,000 in Fond du Lac County alone, 22 of its 33 municipalities will have someone on the ballot. Any extra money for elections has long since run out, Freiberg said. So the cost of the recall primary and election will come straight from the county budget at a time when local governments are anticipating significant cuts from the soon-to-be-approved biennial budget.
VanderLeest said he expects the parties to play politics, but then elections will go ahead as scheduled.
I think that the average person gets that, he said.
As of now, the election schedule is:
On July 12, Democratic primaries will be held in six GOP-held Senate districts Nancy Nusbaum and Otto Junkermann in District 2, a seat held by Robert Cowles; Gladys Huber and Sandra Pasch in District 8, a seat held by Alberta Darling; Shelly Moore and Isaac Weix in District 10, a seat held by Sheila Harsdorf; Church and Clark in District 14, a seat held by Olsen; Jessica King and John Buckstaff in District 18, a seat held by Randy Hopper; and James Smith and Jennifer Shilling in District 32, a seat held by Dan Kapanke.
A general recall election between the incumbent and the primary winner will be held Aug. 9.
On July 9, Republican primaries will be held in three Democratic-held Senate districts Robert Lussow and Kim Simac in District 12, held by Jim Holperin; Fred Ekornaas and Jonathan Steitz in District 22, held by Robert Wirch; and Nygren and VanderLeest in District 30, held by Hansen.
The winners of those primaries will face the incumbents in an Aug. 19 general recall election.
A few nascent elections will change little..
Unioneers are raised from the womb.. and feel "special"..
It will take a harder hand than a mere Governor to change things..
It will take....... "right to work state status"..
It will take making it ILLEGAl TO FORCE UNIONSHIP..
RICO Laws to ram the concept thru...
Same for Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota as well..
And Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania..
What if they held an election and the results didnt count?
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