Recall Elections Cost $13.5M

The state’s recall elections cost Wisconsin taxpayers 13-and-a-half million dollars. The Government Accountability Board came up with the estimate, and released it Friday. The costs included staff salaries for reviewing the petitions, poll workers for two Election Days in May and June, the printing of ballots, and programming the equipment for voting. Local property taxes covered most of those costs. Recall supporters failed to unseat Republican Governor Scott Walker and Senate Majority Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau, but they did manage to put Democrats in charge of the Wisconsin Senate – at least until the next scheduled elections in November. Recall critics frequently said the special contests were a waste of money – but recall supporters said the costs were justified in order to have a referendum on Walker and his conservative policies. State officials also said it cost just over seven-and-a-half million dollars to hold the normal spring local elections – which included the Wisconsin presidential primary in April.