In just a month, volunteers seeking to recall Gov. Scott Walker have collected more than 507,000 signatures, Mike Tate, chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, said in an online announcement Tuesday web. That is still shy of the 540,208 signatures needed to trigger a recall election, but represents a significant milestone in the recall drive, said Tate.
According to state Democratic Party spokesperson Graeme Zielinski, these signatures have been vetted by the party for duplicates or other irregularities.
Tate promised to push forward with the signature gathering effort to provide a cushion to account for any signatures that might be invalidated. "We are well on our way to collecting 720,000" signatures," he said.
State Republicans have been predicting that the effort to get the required signatures will likely succeed and stuck to that message on Thursday.
"We have no doubt the Democrats are rallying their left-wing base around their blatant power grab for the Governor's mansion," said Ben Sparks, Republican Party of Wisconsin communications director in an email statement Thursday. "The simple truth is that Governor Walker was elected by an overwhelming majority of Wisconsin voters who were tired of the Democrats' job-killing agenda, and they have zero desire to go back to the failed policies of the past."
The deadline for submitting signatures to the Government Accountability Board is Jan. 17.
Tate attempted to put the number of signatures collected in perspective, offering that half a million people would fill all the seats at Lambeau Field seven times. "We'd like to fill Lambeau a few more times," he said.
Tate called the recall effort a "people power campaign," noting that more than 25,000 volunteers in 42 field offices around the state were involved. He urged volunteers to stay on course. "Now is not the time to get complacent," he said.