As previously reported, the Recall Wirch effort obtained an estimated 18,300 signatures to recall Wisconsin Democratic State Senator Robert Wirch, far in excess of the 13,537 needed.
As further reported, the Wirch campaign has engaged in misleading "push-calling" to petition signers in an attempt to create the false appearance of fraudulent signature gathering.
The Wirch campaign has submitted its challenge to the petitions, but could specify challenges only to 4043 signatures. Thus, even if every single challenged signature were thrown out, there still would be enough signatures for a recall election.
So the Wirch campaign wants all petitions circulated by paid circulators thrown out if a single signature were invalid in the petition, even if all the other signatures were valid.
The Wirch campaign does this by claiming that the use of paid, out-of-state circulators, though perfectly legal, has tainted the process and does not reflect the will of the voters in Wirch's district. Here is how the Wirch campaign frames the issue in the introductory paragraph of its challenge (emphasis mine):
Methodical, far reaching inquiry confirms that the recall petitions offered for filing against Senator Wirch do not reflect the actual intent of electors sufficient to authorize a recall election. The evidence establishes a pattern of pervasive and systemic fraud in the signature gather process. Both the signatures tainted by fraud and all petitions purportedly attributed to circulators who used fraudulent tactics should be excluded. They do not reflect electors' desire for a recall election; they reflect only the product of a for-profit signature drive largely concerned with filling pages as quickly as possible without regard for Wisconsin's laws or residents. In addition to pervasive fraud, this process generated a large universe of otherwise invalid signatures attributable, if not to fraud, to indifference and recklessness.The Recall Wirch group has submitted an extensive rebuttal of the accusations, and also extensive documentation that most of the challenged signatures were in fact valid.
Putting aside the specific challenges to specific signatures, the tactic of the Wirch campaign is quite astounding. The Wirch campaign wants valid signatures thrown out.
This tactic is similar to the attempts by Democrats in the Prosser-Kloppenburg recount to throw out thousands of valid votes because of supposedly improperly sealed ballot bags, even though the recount totals match almost precisely the election night and canvass totals. But of course, Kloppenburg only worries about such ballot bag security in places which votes heavily for Prosser.
In both the Wirch recall effort and the Kloppenburg recount effort, Democrats seek to have election officials (and ultimately the courts I suspect) throw out votes and signatures as to which there is absolutely no evidence of fraud, based upon speculation, conjecture, and conspiracy theories.
So the next time you hear a Wisconsin Democrat demand that every vote be counted and every vote count, don't believe it, because they don't.
Update: As an interesting contrast, Republican Senators Darling and Kapanke have challenged the recall efforts against them based upon the failure of the recall groups to follow Government Accountability Board requirements of registering for the recall. If a group did not register, it is not a legally recognized recall effort, which is quite different than saying a lawful recall effort should fail even if it has gathered enough valid signatures.