It's time to end election do-overs

A sign posted near Ripon along Highway 23 this past winter.

Here’s a plea to our two state lawmakers, Sen. Luther Olsen (Ripon) and Rep. Joan Ballweg (Markesan):

Help end these policy-related recall attempts.


The idea of amending the state Constitution to require specific, just cause for recalling elected officials appears to have support, and rightly so.

Facing recall June 5 were Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and three Republican state senators. That’s on top of the first wave of bipartisan recall attempts last August.

In exit polls last week, 60 percent of respondents said recalls should be used only in cases of misconduct, while 10 percent said recalls are never justified. That’s according to Edison Research on behalf of its client, the Associated Press.

Walker wasn’t even halfway through his first term, yet he was forced into a special election by fewer than the number of people who put him there.

Is that how democracy works?

Walker received 1.13 million votes in his election in 2010, but according to the Government Accountability Board, only 901,000 recall signatures were verified. That’s not even 80 percent of the number that elected Walker in the first place.

Then, after 16 months of uproar, last week Wisconsin ended up with the same candidates for governor. And the same outcome.

Only now, the state, local and county governments are around $18 million poorer — not to mention the time wasted.

Locally, the city of Ripon was forced to dish out more than $15,000 in the May 8 primary and the June 5 recall, according to Ripon City Hall. Meanwhile, the city of Green Lake spent about $3,000 in the gubernatorial mulligan. Those numbers don’t include the costs from last August, when Olsen retained his seat.

We don’t have money to fritter away ... Continue reading in the June 14 issue of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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