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Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011

Issue of the Week: The Legitimate Recall

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In the past few weeks we've heard all kinds of opposition to the recalls of Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel continued to provide aid and comfort to Walker's flagging career by denouncing the recalls as being about one issue—once again showing that the editorial board is completely out of touch with the majority of Wisconsin residents. Walker also attempted to argue that the recalls aren't about him—talk about being out of touch!—while jetting around the country raising unlimited funds from his elite corporate sponsors. It's a far cry from the Scott Walker of the past who had supported attempted recalls against his political foes, whether it was Jim Doyle or Tom Ament. Now, Walker sees recalls as the work of an uninformed mob.

But despite Walker and the Journal Sentinel's tag-team attack on Wisconsin voters, the recalls are enthusiastically under way in every corner of the state. Voters who couldn't participate in the summer's recalls of state senators are signing their names to the Walker and Kleefisch petitions—with relish.

Not everything is rosy, though. Organizers must sign up more than 8,000 people a day—not an insurmountable task, but not an easy one, either.

Walker and Kleefisch supporters have also attempted to distribute misinformation about the recall process. State Treasurer Kurt Schuller took time out of his day shilling for the Koch brothers to Tweet incorrect information about signing petitions. Other Walker supporters have said they would collect signatures and then destroy them. That's a felony, by the way.

So how can you be sure that your petition circulator is legit and your signature will be counted?

First, go to www.unitedwisconsin.com or www.RecallWalkerHQ.com, where you'll find a list of recall offices all over the state. You can contact a local office to determine a convenient way for you to sign the petition.

You can also download recall petitions to sign or circulate. Remember that Walker and Kleefisch must be recalled separately, so if you want them both to be recalled, sign petitions for both of them. (They're included in the downloaded material on the websites.)

If you want to sign on to the recall of Walker and Kleefisch, you need only to be a Wisconsin resident who is qualified to vote. You do not need to be a registered voter to sign the recall petition. If you want to circulate petitions for Walker or Kleefisch recalls, you must be eligible to vote in Wisconsin.

If you want to recall a state senator, you must reside in his or her district.

You can download a recall petition, sign it as a petitioner and a circulator and turn it into the recall organizers. You do not have to fill out more than one signature line on a petition. No one needs to witness your signature. It does not need to be notarized.

If you are circulating recall petitions, follow the instructions on the petition packet. They must be turned in to your local organizer or mailed to the recall committee before Jan. 10, 2012.

If someone approaches you with a petition and you are unsure about whether that petition circulator is legitimate or not, you can sign the petition. Later, you can contact one of the recall organizations to find out if your name has been added to their database of signers. If it has not, you can go to one of the recall offices and sign a different petition, since the organizers will strike duplicate signatures from the database.

Don't let anyone intimidate you, harass you or deny you your constitutional right to recall your elected officials.

Heroes of the Wee
: Vision Forward Volunteers

The Badger Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired formed in 1919. Nearly 100 years later, in 2010, it merged with the Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Children to become the Vision Forward Association, an organization committed to helping the blind and visually impaired to achieve economic, social and personal self-sufficiency from birth through adulthood. The nonprofit offers support services, vision rehabilitation, housing options and recreational opportunities for adults at its facilities at 912 N. Hawley Road. Programs for children and their families, including education and therapy services, are also offered.

Volunteers are an integral part of Vision Forward's success in providing services, programs and classes to thousands of individuals and families each year. Readers interested in donating their time as drivers, guides/assistants, or general office help are encouraged to call 414-615-0103 or visit www.vision-forward.org.
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