2012 Recall Frequently Asked Questions
The unprecedented efforts of thousands of engaged citizens illustrates the significance of the past eight months, when the tremendous momentum against Governor Scott Walker and the Republican legislators who enabled his extreme power grab continues unabated, and as Wisconsinites continue to express their outrage over record cuts to education, health care, and support for our seniors and the most vulnerable, while granting tax cuts for the very rich.
It's clear the tide is turning in Wisconsin and recall elections are a part of the story. They send a direct message to elected officials - that they will be held responsible for the promises they make to the people they represent - and for the actions they take when they are not truthful with the people.
Q: Why recall?
The recall election never was meant to replace representative government. And it's most certainly not a tool to be used lightly. However, when elected officials subvert the will of those they represent, enacting a radical agenda that seeks to concentrate power in the hands of the very few and jeopardizing the livelihoods of the people they are supposed to protect, the exercise of the constitutionally-guaranteed right to force a recall election is a just and proper tool to force accountability upon those elected officials who act as if there is none.
Q: How many state officials have been recalled in Wisconsin?
This past summer's recalls of two Republican state senators DOUBLED the number of successful recalls in Wisconsin, dating back to 1926 when, as part of the fruits of the Progressive movement, the Wisconsin Constitution was amended to provide for the recall of elected officials. The recall has been used in bipartisan fashion in Wisconsin and even Scott Walker understood this in the not-too-distant past, when in 2002 he used the threat of recall to take office in Milwaukee County as County Executive.
Q: Has a sitting governor ever been recalled?
There have been only two other times in history where a sitting governor has been recalled, in 2003 in California and in North Dakota in 1921. Now, because of the democratic safeguard put in place when recall elections were enacted here in Wisconsin, Scott Walker stands to be the third.
Q: When will we start circulating petitions?
Tuesday, November 15th. This would mean that the all petitions would be due would be Friday, January 13th.
Q: How many signatures are required?
540,208 valid signatures. The actual undertaking of a recall election is an incredibly daunting task that requires collecting a great amount of signatures- in a relatively short period of time. In Wisconsin, the number of valid signatures required to trigger a recall election is equal to 25% of the number of persons that voted in the last preceding election for the office of governor within the electoral district of the officer sought to be recalled. Even more of a challenge, these signatures must be collected in a mere 60 days.
Q: Who can sign a recall petition?
Petition signers must reside in the district of the elected official being recalled and be eligible to vote in Wisconsin.
Q: Do I need a photo ID to sign a recall petition?
No. But if you do not currently have a state issued photo ID you will need to obtain one in order to vote in the next election. Click here for more information, including how and where to obtain an ID to vote and a list of acceptable forms of ID.
Q: Are there requirements for petition circulators?
Petition circulators must be eligible to vote in Wisconsin.
Q: When do the signatures need to be turned in by?
Recall signatures will be due Friday, January 13.
Q: When will I be able to sign a recall petition? Where will I be able to sign?
Recall petitions will be available at Recall Walker offices and available for download online beginning Tuesday, November 15. A list of stationary signing locations will be available online as well.
Q: Will I be able to sign online?
No. Only handwritten signatures can legally be applied to the recall petition. You can download a recall petition from the internet, but you must print it, sign it and return it to the recall organization.
Q: Where will the Recall Walker offices be?
Recall Walker offices will be opened statewide beginning Monday, October 24. A full list of these offices will be available on the website.
Q: When and where will there be rallies to collect signatures?
A full list of rallies and events will be made available online. If you would like to start a rally or let us know about one, you will be able to enter all event information in our community events section soon.
Q: How can I sign up to volunteer?
Volunteers are welcome and needed. If you would like to volunteer please go to the "Volunteer" tab at the bottom of the page, and a staff member will follow up with you shortly.
Q: How can I donate money to Recall Scott Walker?
Donations can be made by clicking on the "Contribute Now" link at the bottom of the page.
Q: After all the signatures are collected, when will the election be?
An election is called six weeks after the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board verifies the signatures. If there were a contested primary, the general election would take place four weeks after the primary election.
Q: Who is going to run for Governor against Scott Walker?
No candidates have announced yet to run for Governor.