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Posted in
Date: 
February 8, 2018
Summary: 
Information about the laws of Wisconsin regarding recall of officials
Attachment Size
Recall Manual for Congressional, County and State Officials (2018-02).pdf 1.94 MB

Recall Manual for Local Elected Officials

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Information about the laws of Wisconsin regarding recall of local elected officials.
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Recall Manual for Local Elected Officials (2018-02).pdf 1.13 MB
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About Recalls in Wisconsin

Recall gives voters the right to reconsider their choice of an elected official; however, it does not automatically result in removal of an official from office. It provides an opportunity for voters to require an elected official to run for office again before the expiration of his or her term.

An official must be in office for one year before a recall can be initiated. 

The number of signatures required to trigger a recall is one-quarter of the number of votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election. 

The requirements for initiating recall efforts are very specific and must be carefully followed.  The rules may be different depending on whether the official is a Congressional, State, County or Local official. Please consult the recall manuals on this page.

Anyone considering conducting a recall petition effort should contact the Wisconsin Elections Commission staff at 608-266-8005.

Information about Recall Committees

Recall committees that have registered with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission are listed in the Campaign Finance Information System (CFIS).

To find them, go to CFIS and click "View Registrants" on the left-side menu.  Click "Continue," which will take you to the search screen.  In the upper left-hand corner, use the pull-down menu for "Registrant Type" to select "Recall," and click "Search."

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Campaign finance reports filed by recall committees are viewable on CFIS.

Recall Petitions: Meaning of "Offered for Filing" and Requirement for Dates for Each Signature

This memorandum provides clarification regarding the meaning of “offer to file” a recall petition and signature date requirements on recall petition sheets. 

Circulating Recall Petitions in Public Buildings

Posted in
Date: 
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Summary: 
Guidance for public employees and private individuals circulating recall petitions

Recall Expense Funds: Contribution Limits and Residual Funds

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March 15, 2011
Summary: 
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Attorney General Opinion on Recall of Governor and Lt. Governor

Posted in
Attachment Size
OAG-4-11.pdf 336.99 KB

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued Opinion 4-11 on November 3, 2011, regarding whether, in a recall election for governor, there must be an election of governor and lieutenant governor jointly under article V, section 3 of the Wisconsin Constitution, regardless of whether there has been a recall petition for the lieutenant governor under article XIII, section 12 of the Wisconsin Constitution.

2012 Recall Initiatives

The Government Accountability Board ordered recall elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and four members of the State Senate, based on the six recall petitions filed on January 17, 2012 against those officeholder. 

Recall primaries were held May 8, 2012. Primary results are available here.

Recall elections were held June 5, 2012.  Results of the recalls elections are available here.

For information about the individual recall committees and officeholders, please see the table below.

For updates on the recall process, read the Recall Blog.

Memo to Legislators: Answers Common Questions about Recall Petition Review

Memo to JCF Requesting Funds for Recall Petition Processing

 

2012 Recall Petitions

In Wisconsin, election petitions have always been public records, and in the interest of transparency, the Government Accountability Board continued that tradition by posting copies of the petitions online. 

Recall petitions were removed from the website in early 2013 because the recall process is complete.  They are still available in electronic format by making a public records request.  The cost is $40 for four DVDs containing all the petitions in PDF form.  Send requests and make checks payable to: Wisconsin Elections Commission, PO Box 7984, Madison, WI 53707-7984.

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Recall of the Governor

Like all other public officials, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin are not eligible for recall until they have served at least one year in the current term of office.  An official who has been recalled and survived a recall election cannot be recalled again during his or her current term in office.

The number of signatures required to trigger a recall election for Governor and/or Lieutenant Governor is one-quarter votes cast for Governor in last gubernatorial election.

2012 Recall Committees

For more information about each recall committee, including copies of registration, petitions and challenges as they are filed, please click on its name.

Officeholder Committee Name GAB-1 Filing Date Signatures Required Date Petitions Filed Estimated Number of Signatures Valid Number of Signatures (at least) *
Scott Walker Committee to Recall Walker November 15, 2011 540,208 popular popular totes large professional allover River bags tote womens' best tote large Bare Young totes printed best bags Beauliful bags bags tote tote professional Bathtub tote bag January 17, 2012 1,000,000 900,939
Rebecca Kleefisch Committee to Recall Kleefisch November 15, 2011 540,208 January 17, 2012 845,000 808,990
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Van Wanggaard Committee to Recall Wanggaard November 15, 2011 15,353 January 17, 2012 24,000 19,142
Terry Moulton Committee to Recall Moulton November 15, 2011 14,958 January 17, 2012 21,000 18,657
Pam Galloway Recall Senator Pam Galloway November 15, 2011 tote tote bags professional tote Bathtub womens' bags totes best Beauliful bags large printed totes popular professional large bag best River Bare tote Young popular bags allover tote 15,647 January 17, 2012 21,000 18,511

Cost Estimates for 2012 Recall Elections

Posted in
Date: 
January 18, 2012
Summary: 
Information provided to the Legislature
Attachment Size
Letter to Representative Vos (Estimated Cost of a 2012 Statewide Recall Election - 01 06 2012).pdf 235.04 KB
County Recall Cost Estimates.xlsx 23.96 KB
Muni Recall Cost Estimates.xlsx 187.99 KB

The county spreadsheet contains data from all 72 counties.  Of the 1,850 municipalities, 143 did not respond by the time the report was finalized on Friday afternoon, January 6. 

2011 Recall Information

Click here for information about the 2011 State Senate recall efforts, including copies of the petitions.