Wisconsin elections review: GOP leader recall fails signatures.

Madison — Under one scenario reviewed by elections officials Tuesday, supporters of former President Donald Trump who organized an effort to recall Wisconsin's top elected Republican did not gather enough signatures to trigger the recall election. The state Supreme Court will likely decide the recall effort's fate.

Recall activists came more than 900 signatures shy of forcing a recall election in Assembly Speaker Robin Vos' longtime constituency. Not sure if those boundary lines should be used for recall. December saw the liberal-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court overturn the 2022 maps and ban them from future elections. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers signed new maps last month, but they don't take effect until November.

That makes district boundaries for pre-November elections unclear. The commission stated in its Tuesday memo that a recall would likely result in a May 21 primary and a June 18 general election.

Tuesday, the six-member elections committee, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, unanimously asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to choose an Assembly district for recall elections. The court denied Evers' motion on Friday but left the door open for a subsequent decision.

“I’m lucky enough to be an attorney and it’s very, very murky to me,” Democratic commission member Mark Thomsen said Tuesday. Nothing is obvious about this process.”

The panel must decide if enough signatures were collected to trigger a recall poll, maybe after seeking clarification from the Supreme Court. The Wisconsin Supreme Court renders the final ruling after appeals. Vos is the GOP-led Legislature's strongest Republican. He became Assembly speaker in 2004 and has held the post since 2013.

Trump and his Wisconsin fans were furious when Vos refused to decertify President Joe Biden's 2020 close win. When Vos opposed impeaching state elections commissioner Meagan Wolfe, Trump fans were furious. Wolfe will not participate in signature review or recall process, said commission chairman Don Millis on Tuesday. The number of petitions needed to recall a lawmaker depends on governor votes and district.

Circulators needed 6,850 valid signatures for Vos' 2022 district. Matthew Snorek, a Burlington, Wisconsin exterminator and petition organizer, claimed Monday that district was targeted for signature gathering. Tuesday's elections commission report showed 9,053 legitimate signatures. Only 5,905 were from Vos' district, 945 short of the required signatures.

The revised lines, which Vos supported, would split his southeast Wisconsin Racine County district in half. According to Evers' maps, Vos now lives in the 33rd Assembly District, although some of his former voters are in the 66th. Elected to the 63rd Assembly District.

The commission unanimously ordered staff to analyze how many signatures were needed and gathered in each district. In an unsigned statement, recall organizers indicated they would appeal signature rejections. Vos, who has consistently questioned signature legitimacy, did not immediately comment on the signature review totals.

Vos and petition circulators can dispute signatures. To evaluate if the petition has enough legitimate signatures, the commission has 31 days. A recall election must be held six weeks after a petition is approved.

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