Trump backers’ effort to recall Wisconsin GOP leader fails, but more challenges lie ahead

The effort to recall Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has failed, but another attempt from the same group is on the horizon.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission confirmed Wednesday that the pro-Trump group’s efforts to recall the Republican leader failed after the group did not gather enough signatures from Vos’s district to issue a recall election. Vos challenged the validity of the signatures, even finding his own on the recall attempt, because the group used previous legislative maps to gather signatures. 

“Not enough valid signatures were submitted from either old AD 63 or new AD 33 for the petition to be valid, and because Representative Vos was neither elected to new AD 66 nor lives within the territory of that district, staff do not believe that this petition could cause a recall election against representative Vos to be held regarding that territory,” WEC attorney Brandon Hunzicker wrote.

Wisconsin’s previous legislative maps were struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court for not being contiguous and were considered by many to be some of the most gerrymandered maps in the country and heavily in favor of Republicans.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court which maps should be used in recall decisions, as a certain number of signatures are needed from the district in which the person being recalled resides. The high court declined to say which maps should be used for recall attempts or special elections. 

“On December 22, 2023, we enjoined the ‘Elections Commission from using [the prior] legislative maps in all future elections’ because the maps violated the Wisconsin Constitution,” the court wrote. “Based on the submissions before us, we decline to further clarify or amend the opinion and order.”

Still, the Wisconsin Elections Commission found that no matter which map was used, the recall efforts did not gather enough valid signatures.

Matthew Snorek, who spearheaded the failed recall attempt, filed paperwork last month for a second recall attempt

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In his filing, he claimed Vos “should be recalled for his tacit support of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” a “lack of election integrity,” and “flagrant disrespect for his own constituents by calling them ‘whack-jobs, morons and idiots.’” Vos previously called the people behind the first recall attempt “whack jobs and morons.”

“The people who did this? Whack jobs and morons,” he said. Vos has been a member of the Wisconsin Assembly since 2005 and has held the speakership since 2014, the longest in state history.

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