The state Government Accountability Board Tuesday certified that the signatures gathered in the Sen. Alberta Darling effort are valid, a decision that paves the way for a July 12 recall election.
Darling, a Republican from River Hills, submitted a challenge to the recall petition and the integrity of the petition process.
The board agreed to strike 2,813 of the challenged signatures, while validating 22,243 signatures. The petitioners needed to gather 20,343 signatures to force a recall election in the 8th Senate District, which includes Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Fox Point and Menomonee Falls.
Among the faulty signatures was “Adolf Hitler” residing in “Berlin.” This signature was rejected by the GAB and was not counted.
A Whitefish Bay man alleged he signed the petition after being told the petition was in support of Darling. In an affidavit, he alleged that he voiced his support for Darling to the recall petitioner, and then the petitioners told him the petition was in support of Darling.
Darling will face Democratic State Rep. Sandy Pasch, of Whitefish Bay, in the election.
The state board only considered the petition signatures against the three Republican senators Tuesday morning, meaning those elections will meet the June 3 certification deadline for a July 12 election.
The legal challenges in the petitions against three Democratic senators - Jim Holperin, Robert Wirch and Dave Hansen - will be considered the week of June 6, meaning a later election date will be scheduled in those races.
Kevin Kennedy, director of the board, said
“We were making every effort to meet the June 3 requirement for certification,” he said. "Bear in mind, we looked at thousands of challenges to the Darling petitions.”