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Cost of Recall Elections More Than $13M, GAB Says

Estimates in February put the cost of recall upwards of $17 million. The real figures are closer to $13 million, which is still a big chunk of change.

The Government Accountability Board issued a press release Friday saying the 2012 recall elections cost taxpayers more than $13 million.

Specifically, the statement says the May recall primary ran up a bill of $6.3 million. That figure includes:

  • $2.3 million in poll worker wages;
  • $1.7 million in staff salaries;
  • $728,000 for ballots; and
  • $617,000 for programming.

The June recall general election cost more, coming in at $7.2 million. This amount also accounts for a variety of functions:

  • $2.5 million in poll worker wages;
  • $1.9 million in staff salaries;
  • $984,000 for ballots; and
  • $596,000 in programming costs.

“Instead of conducting two primaries and two elections this year, Wisconsin election officials will be conducting six elections, which added approximately $13.5 million in unbudgeted costs,” said Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel of the GAB in the statement. “These unplanned elections also put significant stress on Wisconsin’s clerks, who have many other duties beyond elections.”

The final tallies are from information transmitted to the GAB from municipal and county clerks, and the final total has not been audited, the release said.

Where the state saved money was with the GAB itself. According to the release, the agency expected to spend almost $1 million — $975,000 — preparing for the recall elections, including verifying recall petitions. Instead, costs came in at $663,000.

In January, residents learned that the . The estimates were pulled together after Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, made a request for the information.

In August 2011, Vos announced he would seek a change to the way Wisconsin does recall elections, and .

After the GAB's release went out, Vos issued a written statement, saying he is more committed than ever to recalling the recalls.

"Next session I intend to re-introduce a constitutional amendment to reform our recall laws," he wrote. "We need to establish real grounds for a recall election and not be at the mercy of special interest groups when they’re angered by a particular vote."

Because Vos wants to amend the state Constitution, passing the amendment requires approval from two legislative sessions and a statewide referendum.

The Anti-Alinsky September 16, 2012 at 04:29 PM
@Bewildered: "Wow! Who is this guy?" Great question. John Wilson is apparently a very confused individual that selects only key parts of a discussion in an attempt to prove his point. On one hand, he like the term "RED COMMUNIST REPUBLICAN PARTY", yet still tries to paint Conservatives like Paul Ryan as Nazis. He also tries to equate a viable fetus as an amoeba that has no rights at all. Why does a fetus have no right to life? Simply because it has not been born yet? The only difference between a viable 40 week old baby pre-birth and post-birth is it's attachment to it's mother through the umbilical cord. Yet the Liberal's continue to fight on to let us kill one, but not the other. Strange to me. And JW's odd interpretation of rights seems to ignore how one individual's rights affects another's. It was Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. that said "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." Simply put it means no one should have the ability to trample on someone's right by exercising their own rights. Act 10 is a great example, since it addressed paying outrageous pay and benefits at the expense of overly burdensome taxes.
John Wilson September 16, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Anti-Alinsky – RED, because you choose the same nefarious color [RED] as the infamous COMMUNIST PARTY to represent your mind-numbing party. COMMUNIST, because you employ the same racist, radical, divisive, nationalistic perversions that foster class-warfare, would reduce public labor unions to mere slaves of government, and, ultimately, because you are the TAKE AWAY PARTY… TAKE AWAY: Labor Rights Collective Bargaining Women’s right to equal pay Women’s right to healthcare and contraception Women’s reproductive rights [Personhood Amendment] or the mere thought of intercourse Women’s fundamental right to engage their sexuality at their choosing Women’s right – guaranteed by the Supreme Court – to terminate an unwanted pregnancy even if it means the woman’s death A women’s right to actually plan when and where to start a family Access to state/federal courts to address employment and other grievances The right to protest, by limiting it to groups of (4) 5,000 miles from the actual event Stem cell research Pell grants for poor college students Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and Title X The Tax Deduction for Home Mortgages The right of LGBT folks to engage in full marriage equality I could call you the RED, RELIGIOUS RIGHT, SOCIAL ENGINEERING, CONTROL FREAK PARTY that wants to return AMERICA to the 16th century…
John Wilson September 16, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Anti-Alinsky - And JW's odd interpretation of rights seems to ignore how one individual's rights affects another's. It was Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. that said "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." I'd remember what you said the next time you want to force a woman to carry a gamete to term; it is her body, her reproductive cycle and you have no right in her body... Yes, it's wonderful to see you argue for my position... it would probably mean something were you not completely schizoid...
Steve ® September 17, 2012 at 04:50 PM
What amount did you write the check for Bren?
Steve ® September 18, 2012 at 02:28 AM
I take that as you didn't write the check to support the WDR in a "cause" you feel justified. We will continue to make cuts to the public workforce and you are directly responsible for their loss of employment.

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