Monday, April 22, 2024
Monday, April 22, 2024

Milwaukee Press Club 'Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism' 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023 Triple GOLD Award Recipients

HomeRecall Robin VosRobin Vos Recall Petition FAILS to Get Enough Valid Signatures as Questions...

Robin Vos Recall Petition FAILS to Get Enough Valid Signatures as Questions Grow [EXCLUSIVE]


An initial review by the Wisconsin Election Commission into the Recall Robin Vos petition shows only 5,905 valid signatures fall within Assembly District #63 – that’s less than the number needed to force a recall of the Republican Speaker.

It’s a stunning failure by the recall petitioners, who relied on many paid out-of-state circulators in their effort to topple the Republican leader.

A review of the signatures by Wisconsin Right Now also found that the recall petition is so riddled with serious problems that it raises the possibility criminal charges could result.

The 5,905 signatures involve Vos’s old district boundaries (the district he was elected to serve). According to WEC, 6,850 are needed to force the recall.

It’s unclear whether Vos’s current or new district boundaries (in the new maps just approved) apply. The WEC unanimously voted on March 12 to ask the liberal-controlled state Supreme Court to determine that. On Friday, the court had declined to weigh in.

However, it appears that the recall organizers don’t have enough signatures under new boundaries, either. In fact, based on the numbers WEC believes are valid in the new district, the circulators are not even close to having enough signatures. We have determined the number of signatures needed in the new district is likely roughly about the same as the old one.

They are further way if the court picks the new boundaries, and they’re short by more than 900 signatures if the court picks the old boundaries.

See the WEC letter here:

Loader Loading...
Ead logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

The problems include many signatures outside Vos’s district, which is what invalidates most, Wisconsin Right Now’s review found. Page after page include signatures from people not in Vos’s district – some even live in Georgia and Illinois. Others hail from Milwaukeee, Oconomowoc, Hartland, Muskego and other far-off communities nowhere near the speaker’s district.

Robin vos recall petition

The petitions also include possible forged signatures, illegible signatures, duplicate signatures, pages where the handwriting looks oddly similar for multiple signatures, and more.

One local CEO and Army veteran is already on the record as saying his name was forged, which would be a crime.

The recall petitioners claimed they had more than 10,000 valid signatures.

What WEC Determined

Although WEC found that the petition falls short if the old district boundaries are included, WEC says it hasn’t had time to determine the number of signatures needed if the new district boundaries are used instead.

“Regarding the new districts 33 and 66, staff have not yet calculated the number of
signatures that would be required for a recall election in these districts,” WEC wrote. “The calculation would require implementing the new lines in our WisVote system to redistrict all voters, and then analyzing the corresponding voter data.”

However, the recall petition contains far FEWER valid signatures under the new boundaries than the old, according to WEC, which found:

3,332 signatures would fall within both the previous 63 and the new 33;
2,573 would fall within both the previous 63 and the new 66;
32 signatures would fall only within the new 33;
3,116 would fall only within the new 66; and
5,905 signatures would fall within the previous district 63

Vos’s old district was #63. “His residence would now place him in the new Assembly District 33, but some of his previous voters now reside within the new Assembly District 66,” WEC wrote.

The Associated Press initially wrote, “Only 3,364 signatures collected are in the new Assembly district that Vos resides in, which would also fall short of the total needed,” but then removed that line from its story without explanation.

Wisconsin Right Now has also determined there is no way 3,364 is close to the number that would be needed – likely thousands short – even if the liberal court picks the new boundaries.

The recall was launched by Matt Snorek, a pest exterminator and failed local candidate who admits he is not a Republican. The recall organizers have openly embraced Democratic help.

Our review

We scoured the recall signatures; so far, we made it through more than 300 of the 1,346 pages turned in by recall organizers on Monday. In that batch alone, we found more than 1,400 questionable signatures.

Many signature lines list a “municipality of residence” which is nowhere near the 63rd Assembly District.

Robin vos recall petition

Many of the questionable signatures trace to the same out-of-state organizers. Circulators came from all over the country, from Jacksonville, Florida, to New York, the pages reveal.

Our review found a host of problems so severe that it raises the question of whether criminal charges could result. The issues include:


A cursory review found three signatures that were duplicated on two petitions. Those petitions were circulated by two different people from Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Robin vos recall petition Robin vos recall petition

Petitions 458 and 460 also show duplicate signatures. Those pages were circulated by two different people from Florida.

Robin vos recall petition Robin vos recall petition

The recall organizers are a motley group of failed political candidates, some of whom admit they aren’t Republicans. They have openly collaborated with Democrats and courted Democratic signatures. The recall comes right at the time Vos is trying to retain Republican control of the Legislature.

Candidates have been denied ballot access because of invalid signatures before; the campaign of Gary George comes to mind. In this case, the recall organizers say they don’t even have a candidate.

Cities Outside Vos’s District

The issue that involves the most questionable signatures: Hundreds and hundreds of the signatures list Racine as the city, but Racine is not located in Vos’s old district.

It’s possible that some of those people really live in Mount Pleasant, inside Vos’s district boundaries, and that they listed their voting municipality wrong. Or possibly the circulators listed the city wrong.

The WEC noted that it had not done a fine-grain analysis of addresses but rather relied on the listed municipality in its initial review.

However, we also found signatures from people who live out of state (Georgia and Illinois). Those signatures are invalid.

We found signatures from multiple people who live in Milwaukee. Invalid.

We found signatures from people who live in Muskego, Oconomowoc, Hartland, Cudahy, Oak Creek, and other Milwaukee-area suburbs that are far away from Vos’s district. Those signatures are invalid.

There are other issues in the petitions:

  • The writing used in the signatures on some circulators’ pages looks very similar.
  • Some signatures and addresses can’t be read.
  • Some signatures don’t include addresses.
  • In some cases, it appears one person signed the name and another person wrote the address because the writing looks different.
  • We found a woman who posted QAnon slogans among the circulators.
  • In some cases, the circulators full name is not listed or included.




Latest Articles