Recall effort

Pete Platt of Portage speaks in support of Gov. Scott Walker with Cindy Smet in the parking lot of Campbell Park, a location where recall supporters have collected signatures in recent weeks. Smet called the recall effort "ridiculous."

Ed Zagorski / News Republic

While activists are busy collecting signatures to recall Gov. Scott Walker, groups of supporters are waiting an opportunity to scrutinize those lists of names.

The Republican governor drew numerous protests last spring after pushing for rules that curtailed government workers' ability to collectively bargain.

The recall effort was formally launched Nov. 15.

Democratic Party of Sauk County chair Judy Spring said signature gatherers are closing in on the 540,208 voters they need to force Walker back on the ballot. Spring said volunteers won't stop taking signatures until Tuesday when they are due.

Spring said she had about 200 volunteers in Sauk Prairie, Reedsburg and Baraboo collecting signatures.

She said people volunteered to collect recall petition signatures for several reasons.

"In a few words, it came down to distrust and disgust about Gov. Walker's dismantling of Wisconsin's reputation and good government," Spring said.

She said she is proud of those who volunteered their time to gather signatures.

"Sometimes it did get bad for some them who were out taking names," Spring said. "They were called names and sometimes people cursed at them, but our volunteers remained calm and continued to collect signatures."

Republican Party of Sauk County chair Tim McCumber said he has taken numerous calls from people who want to help check the names collected.

"Right now, we can't do anything," he said. "We're in a holding pattern, but we're seeing a lot of our members and new faces who want to review the names on the recall petitions and check for any fictitious names and verify signatures that have been collected."

Pete Platt of Portage was in Baraboo on Wednesday with a Walker banner hanging from his parked truck near the city pool on South Boulevard.

"I am here to just listen to people's concerns and to show support for Gov. Walker's fiscal responsibility," Platt said while waving to passers-by honking their horns in support.

Platt, who has been in Portage for the past three weeks doing the same, decided to stop in Baraboo because of his friend, Randy Zeman.

"I wanted to have another person here with me to speak with people who stop and just want to vent about the recall," Zeman said. "I don't understand why people can't support our governor who has shown he is fiscally responsible. He has done everything that he said he would before he took office and now people want him recalled, which will just put more of a burden on the state's taxpayers."

The statewide recall election against Walker could cost $9 million or more, according to the state Government Accountability Board.

The director of the GAB, who will handle the review, said Thursday it will take more than the 60 days it originally planned to look for obvious fake and duplicate signatures.

Cindy Smet of Baraboo, who stopped to talk with Platt and Zeman, said the recall is "ridiculous" for the state.

"I did not vote Gov. Walker in. I don't vote Democrat or Republican," Smet said. "I vote for the decent person running who is going to do justice for us."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.