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Vos argues recall organizers short of needed signatures despite WEC staff finding otherwise

GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos continued to argue those seeking to recall him are short the number of needed signatures despite the Elections Commission staff finding otherwise.

Agency staff recommended finding recall petitioners turned in 6,866 valid signatures in the 63rd AD, just over the 6,850 needed to trigger a recall election. But the staff declined to offer an opinion on whether it’s appropriate to approve a recall of Vos in the 63rd AD that he was elected to in 2022 after the state Supreme Court barred the use of that map. Instead, the staff left that question up to the commissioners, who will meet Thursday to address the recall petition.

Following the release of the staff memo yesterday, Vos again argued the committee inappropriately collected 347 signatures after the statutorily defined 60-day window. He argued that leaves the recall committee short of the needed signatures.

“We also raised serious fraud allegations that were not refuted by the Recall Vos committee or addressed in the WEC staff report,” the Rochester Republican said. “We are confident they have not met the threshold for recall and will present our argument to the commission on Thursday.”

Recall petitioners turned in just over 9,000 signatures in May. But Vos challenged 1,922 that he argued were from outside the 63rd AD, the 347 that he believed were outside the allowed window and others for various reasons, including alleged fraud.

The 60-day window to collect recall signatures ended May 26, the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Because it fell on a weekend with a holiday that following Monday, the petitions weren’t due to the Elections Commission until May 28. Vos’ challenge argued the cutoff was still May 26.

Staff recommended rejecting that part of Vos’ challenge, arguing state law treats the filing deadline for a recall petition as the same cutoff for collecting signatures.

That memo leaves it to the six commissioners to decide whether Vos can be recalled from the 63rd AD. The staff noted the Supreme Court’s December decision barring the use of the 2022 maps going forward. In February, new maps were put in place that moved Vos to the 33rd AD, but those lines don’t take effect until the fall election.

Staff noted the Supreme Court declined a request from the agency to clarify which map should be used for recall and special elections ahead of this fall.

The commission faces a Friday deadline to issue a decision, and agency staff sent a memo to Vos and recall organizers laying out how Thursday’s meeting will proceed. Each side will have five minutes to make a presentation to the commissioners. Should the body find there are enough signatures to trigger a recall, each side would then get another five minutes to address where and when an election would take place. The two sides can also submit a brief of up to three pages by tomorrow, and staff recommended such a submission address the impact of the state Supreme Court’s December ruling.

Note: This story was updated June 26 at 8:10 a.m. to include additional details comment from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

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