Volunteers claim someone stole petition - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Volunteers claim someone stole petition

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Complaints are starting to surface in a recall effort. 

It's been a week since the recall effort targeting Governor Walker was launched and complaints about tampering popping up around the state.

In Eau Claire, petition volunteers say someone stole a clipboard at a location on Birch Street.  They say the person was handed a clipboard in their vehicle to sign.  When organizers weren't looking,  they claim the person drove off. 

"I was holding my sign when I saw a couple drive off in an SUV and the lady in the passenger seat was triumphantly holding up one of our clipboards with a bunch of signatures on it," says Al Moose, recall volunteer.  "I knew it was ours because it was a yellow piece of paper which are the Kleefisch petitions." 

Volunteers estimate the petition had three or four signatures.  The volunteers were unable to get a license plate number.  They did not file a complaint with police. 

"While there have been some incidents like this, there have not been a whole lot of them," says Kristen Dexter, Eau Claire Democratic Party Chair.  "So I think that's an encouraging sign." 

The Government Accountability Board says it's a felony to tamper, destroy or commit fraud with a recall petition. 

That includes anyone who signs someone else's name to a petition.  The Republican Party has made public posts on Facebook where people have claimed to sign other people's names or their own name more than once.  Anyone who's convicted of tampering or destroying a petition or committing fraud could go to prison for three and a half years and face up to $10,000 in fines. 

"In America, we resolve our political differences at the ballot box, not through acts of violence or attacks on the process, people should let the democratic process play out and not let their emotions get in the way, there are serious penalties associated with petition destruction and fraud," says Reid Magney, Government Accountability Board spokesman. 

A liberal group is offering a reward for information that leads to a conviction of anyone who destroys petitions. 

It's a $10,000 reward from One Wisconsin Now.  The group's director says he was motivated following reports of a petition being destroyed in Madison.  The Republican Party has launched its own website where it encourages people to report incidents of fraud related to petitions.

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