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Government Accountability Board addresses nomination papers law

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin elections' agency is getting heat for the way it's enforcing a new state law that requires those who sign nomination papers to print their names legibly.  

The State Journal of Madison said it found some legible names among 90 that were stricken by the Government Accountability Board's staff, after petitions for this fall elections were filed.  

The head of the Assembly elections' panel, Chippewa Falls Republican Kathleen Bernier, said the board was going too far to enforce a law passed by her own party after the 2012 recall elections -- when Governor Scott Walker's people complained that too many signatures supporting his recall could not be easily identified.  

Board spokesman Reid Magney said the law is causing more names to be stricken, but he noted that the law requires each signer to legibly print his or her name -- and cursive handwriting is not printed, even if it's totally readable.  

Bernier said she'd ask the Board next week to accept all readable names, saying it complies with the law's intention that all signers be identifiable.  

Two candidates -- including Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Marcia Mercedes Perkins -- had nobody print their names. So all of those signatures were tossed out.  

Most candidates had well beyond the required numbers of signatures. Some didn't -- like Manitowoc Republican Senate candidate Barry Nelson. He said he was told that some of his printed names looked too squiggly, and they were construed as second signatures. He lost almost 100 signatures that way, and fell below the 400 he needed.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)