An ounce of prevention…
December 1, 2011
State Senator Glenn Grothmann (R-West Bend) is seeking cosponsors for a mild reform requiring circulators of recall petitions to provide a notarized statement verifying their identity, and stating that they personally gathered the signatures on the petition.
It seems a small thing to ask, given that even this thin defense against fraud is unavailable for the possible recall of Governor Walker. There is virtually no practical way to weed out fraudulent signatures from those now being collected.
It is true Grothman is seeking a higher standard for recalls and nomination papers in regular elections, but so what? Ripe for abuse under current law, the recall process allows a minority of a minority to force a do-over of a lawful election. Notarization was mandatory for candidate nomination papers until 2000 when the legislature foolishly removed the requirement.
Prior to this year, no one would have foreseen the need for the kind of reforms proposed by Grothman and by State Rep. Robin Vos (R-Racine). Their simple objective is to spare Wisconsin residents from finding themselves at the mercy of a minority of voters whenever they don’t get their way.
Wisconsin taxpayers have already spent $2 million on recall elections this year and the next round of recalls could cost more than $10 million.