MADISON — Let the counting begin. A large number of recall petitions targeting Republican Governor Scott Walker are now in the hands of the Government Accountability Board.
The signatures were turned in Tuesday afternoon to the GAB offices in Madison.
Democrats need just more than 540,000 valid signatures on recall petitions to force Governor Scott Walker into a recall election.
To make sure there are enough signatures once they are all scrutinized for errors, Democrats turned in more than a million.
Democrats say they had no problem getting signatures with people outraged by the governor's push last year to eliminate most collective bargaining powers for most state workers.
Democrats say the number of people signing the petitions is important.
"I think it's a big deal. I mean it's an important number both numerically and psychologically over one million people almost as many people who voted for Scott Walker in 2010 governor's race thinks he needs to go just one year into his term," said Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate.
The GAB is charged with certifying the signatures to see if enough qualify to trigger a recall election.
By state statute the GAB has 31 days to complete its work, but based on the volume of petitions officials already expect to file an extension with the courts.
"We have a big job ahead of us... two million signatures to go though. We believe we have the people and the equipment to get the job done. Been through this before, it will be ten times as much work,” said Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy.
At this point there is no formal Democratic candidate to run against Walker.
Democrats say turning in these petitions was just the first step.
Governor Walker was not in Madison Tuesday. He did release a statement through his campaign, saying:
"Instead of going back to the days of billion-dollar budget deficits, double-digit tax increases and record job loss, I expect Wisconsin voters will stand with me and keep moving Wisconsin forward."
GOP officials tell FOX 11 they have their own plan in place to verify the signatures as well.
Republicans say the Government Accountability Board will be making the petitions available to them.
The party says it has thousands of volunteers to help in the process.
Republican leaders say they not sure how long it will take.
Either way they are confident Governor Walker will come out on top.
“Voters elected Governor Walker to come in and to come in and make the tough decisions necessary to turn this state around. Governor Walker campaigned on balancing this budget and he did that all without raising taxes and we're confident the voters will stand with Governor Walker,” said Ben Sparks with the Wisconsin Republican Party.
Governor Walker is not the only one facing a recall attempt. Democrats also turned in recall petitions for Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators.
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svholzman61 | January 17 2012 10:28pm
HELL YEA YOU HAVE MY VOTE ON THAT ONE. WHY SHOULD THE REST OF US HAVE TO PAY FOR WHAT THEY WANT... I SAY SHUT UP AND SIT DOWN.
mesnipe | January 17 2012 11:41am
I just can't understand how a small minority of cry babies that didn't get thier way can force a new election. The people that are complaining about what Walker has done seem to forget that the former govenor did the same things. If these people want a new election so bad, then those 500,000-600,000 people should have to foot the bill for the election.
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