Group trying to recall Speaker Vos files 2nd petition

NOW: Group trying to recall Speaker Vos files 2nd petition

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- For the second time, organizers behind a petition to recall Assembly Speaker Robin Vos turned in thousands of signatures to try and oust one of the most powerful Republican lawmakers.

It was essentially a do-over for organizers of the recall after their first attempt came up short.

On Tuesday, the group seeking to remove Vos said they submitted more than 9,000 signatures to the state elections commission, which is more than 2,100 needed to force a recall election.

The commission will now have 31 days to review the signatures to decide whether enough valid ones were submitted.

In March, the same groups turned in more than 10,000 signatures, but WEC determined only about half of those were valid. The first recall attempt also caught the attention of the Racine County district attorney who investigated nearly 30 complaints from residents who said their signatures were forced on recall petitions.

Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who was hired and eventually fired by Vos after a failed investigation into the 2020 presidential election that turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, is now helping lead the recall effort after the first attempt failed.

Outside the elections commission, Gableman told reporters they're "highly confident" in the number of signatures they submitted.

“We didn't spend a lot of thought or time strategizing on the first recall about how to prevent or how to block the recall process from being invaded or sabotaged by people who were not invited," Gableman said.

Gableman claimed Vos hired out-of-state residents and felons to gather signatures during the first recall attempt, which he alleged derailed their effort.

It comes after Vos called recall organizers "whack jobs and morons" after hiring dozens of volunteers and a private investigator to review the signatures, some that were determined to be fraudulent.

"We learned a lot from the first recall effort," Gableman said. "We learned, because of the laws in the state, how easy it is for political dirty tricksters."

Vos, who challenged the first recall, suggested in a statement there are similar problems related to election fraud that happened during the second attempt.

"As we proved with the last recall attempt, the Recall Vos organization engaged in election fraud on a massive scale," Vos said. "Signatures were forged (including those of children), recall signers were lied to, and out-of-state felons were used to gather signatures."

Vos added, "We are hearing reports that this effort will have similar problems. Once again, we look forward to rooting out any criminality and ensuring that anyone who participates in an effort to defraud Wisconsin voters is held accountable.”

Vos now has 10 days to challenge the signatures.

Supporters of the recall have targeted Vos over his refusal to impeach the state's top election official, a decision that not only frustrated them but also former President Donald Trump. Trump has pressured Vos more than once to do more to overturn his 2020 election loss, which is an impossible and illegal task.

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