Skip to comments.GAB gives public behind-the-scenes look at democracy in action
Posted on 01/19/2012 8:52:55 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
The premise sounds captivating.
Coming to you live from a secret government facility in Madison!
The reality was less riveting as the state verification of recall documents, captured in real time on a webcam, began in earnest Wednesday.
People across the country can watch the scanning of 309,661 pages of signatures for a recall of Gov. Scott Walker and five other Republican elected officials on laptops or iPhones atgab.wi.gov. It is the only viewing option.
For now, the location of the processing site is not being disclosed to the public nor the media, and no one from the public or the campaigns or organizations involved in the recalls is expected to be allowed to observe the process in person, said Reid Magney, spokesman for the Government Accountability Board, the state agency charged with reviewing the petitions.
Capitol Police officers are guarding the site and requested the secrecy to reduce the likelihood of anything happening to the petitions before electronic scanning can create duplicates, Magney said. Capitol Police, through the state Department of Administration, declined to comment on security measures.
The GAB declined to allow the State Journal to photograph the site or talk to any workers.
Tuesday, Walker opponents said they turned in more than 1 million signatures nearly twice the number needed to trigger a recall election against him.
Additional petitions were turned in against Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Republican Sens. Pam Galloway of Wausau, Van Wanggaard of Racine, Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls and Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau.
All are being targeted due to an agenda critics say has balanced the state budget on the backs of the poor and public sector workers, who have lost most of their ability to bargain collectively. Walker has said he believes voters will stick with him based on his efforts to create jobs and his ability to balance the budget without raising taxes or cutting essential services.
No dates have been set for any recall elections. The state first must verify that enough legitimate signatures have been submitted, a process expected to take months. The targeted politicians, using thousands of volunteers organized through the state Republican Party, also plan to comb through scanned copies of the petitions. Legal challenges could follow.
On Wednesday, the GAB webcam showed about a dozen people sitting at tables in a gray-walled, windowless office. They paced back and forth. They fed petitions into scanners. They stood up and stretched. This is not the TV show "24."
The workers are a combination of GAB employees and temporary workers. The camera shows the entirety of the scanning area but only about one-third of the operation, Magney said.
Nearby, other workers are going through paper petitions that have been scanned to check line by line whether the signatures and dates are complete and the addresses legible. The webcam will be repositioned to film these workers once all of the petitions have been scanned, he said.
At the end of the scanning process likely late this week or early next week the location of the processing site will be disclosed and media representatives will be given brief tours, Magney said.
Jeremy Levinson, a member of the legal team for United Wisconsin, the organization formed to recall the governor, said a secure room with a webcam is the best option. The organization is fine with not being present.
"If they let folks in, it will only slow or disrupt the process," he said. United Wisconsin has its own full set of copies of the petitions, he said.
The politicians being targeted will receive copies of the scanned petitions on computer disks, Magney said. The scanned petitions also will be posted on the GAB website for public review.
As the workers go through the paper petitions by hand, potential problems, including suspicious-sounding names, will be flagged, Magney said. A signature will be tossed out only after an investigation by a second staff member, he said.
The GAB intends to create a searchable database from the scanned petitions, although that could take several weeks, Magney said. The database will be used to eliminate duplicate names.
Republican Party spokesman Ben Sparks said more than 5,000 volunteers have contacted the party through its website. They will be dispatched to 10 field offices to search for suspicious names on the scanned petitions, he said.
"This is in response to repeated allegations of misconduct and fraud that have permeated this process from day one," he said. As for the state verification process, "so far, we're pleased with their efforts to take affirmative steps to verify these signatures," he said.
Wisconsin GAB Secret Location Ping
If you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list, just FReep Mail me.
“Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.” Josef Stalin.
GAB=A BUNCH OF LIBERAL RETIRED A-HOLE JUDGES I feel so confident don ‘t you that every thing will be on the up and up. The liberal freaks and union thugs in this state force me to go to confession every week.