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Recall Evers petition nearing deadline for submission

Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 9:00 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Almost a decade after Wisconsin saw a recall effort to remove Republican Governor Scott Walker from office in 2012 fail, residents of the Badger State are at it again, trying to garner enough signatures to force a recall election and vote current Democratic Governor Tony Evers and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes out of office.

Governor Evers has faced criticism from some for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically the ‘Safer at Home’ order and mask mandate. He has also come under fire for not accepting federal help when offered during the riots and unrest that took place in Kenosha following the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer.

“The last straw was how Governor Evers handled Kenosha,” explained Jeremy Pease, a Wisconsin resident living in the southeastern part of the state. “I don’t understand how anybody cannot see that he handled that poorly.”

Pease went to school with Misty Polewczynski, the petition organizer. Along with signing his name to the petition, he has hosted events where others can sign the petition as well. Events have been popping up all over Wisconsin over the past several weeks and are kept track of on the group’s website.

That includes in central Wisconsin, where Weston native Allen Hellrood estimates he’s collected over 2,000 signatures.

“I went to Stratford two Wednesdays in a row,” explained Hellrood, who usually is set up with a tent and Trump merchandise on Schofield Avenue in Weston. “The number of people there, they probably signed between five and six-hundred signatures.”

Like Pease, Hellrood cites the governor’s handling of the unrest in Kenosha and the situation that schools find themselves in as a reason for him signing the petition and helping others do the same.

“We have to get rid of him and get somebody back there that cares about our state and our people,” Hellrood explained. “I don’t hate people. I just don’t like what he has done.”

According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission website, in order to initiate a recall, a petition must have one-quarter of the number of votes cast for governor in the most gubernatorial election.

In this instance, the number of signatures needed just over 668,000. Those signatures must be turned in by October 27.

Both Pease and Hellrood couldn’t provide an estimate for how many signatures the group has obtained but Pease said “Last I heard, from Misty herself, we were nearing the minimum.”

On Sunday, a representative with Recall Evers Now said that at last check, the group had over 625,000 signatures with more still to be counted.

NewsChannel 7 reached out to the Wisconsin Democratic Party and the Wisconsin GOP as well as the Evers Administration for comment on the recall efforts. Those requests did not receive a response.

Copyright 2020 WSAW. All rights reserved.

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