The signatures are now subject to review by the state Government Accountability Board, which has 60 days to examine the validity of the signatures, though the head of the board has said the process will take longer
. Some will no doubt be disqualified, but given the amount collected, Walker -- who has already been preparing for a recall campaign by raising money, staffing up and running television ads in the state -- will almost certainly face another election, less than two years into his first term.
Several Democratic names have been floated as potential Walker challengers, including Walker's 2010 opponent, Tom Barrett
, the mayor of Milwaukee. Other names include former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk
, state Sen. Jon Erpenbach
and retiring Sen. Herb Kohl
, among others. A recall election would be ordered within six weeks of the date the petition signatures are validated, but a contested Democratic primary could further push that day back by four weeks.
For his own part, Walker was nowhere near Madison on Tuesday, opting instead to attend a fundraisier in New York
. The chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party, Brad Courtney
, blasted the recall effort.
"We had no doubt the Democrats would be able to rally their left-wing supporters around this baseless and expensive recall effort," Courtney said in a statement. "This shameful recall attempt of the Governor will accomplish nothing but saddle Wisconsin taxpayers with over $9 million in unbudgeted costs."
United Wisconsin collected over 845,000 signatures for the recall Rebecca Kleefisch
, the lieutenant governor of Wisconsin.
Democrats were quick to tout magnitude of their accomplishment, noting that they collected 3,000 pounds worth of signatures, which fill 300,000 pages at 14 inches each.