How Political Recalls Work

Author's Note

This article couldn't have been timelier. As I'm writing it, Democratic candidates in Wisconsin are preparing for a primary contest to see who will run against Governor Scott Walker in his recall election. All eyes are on Wisconsin, as many see the Governor's recall attempt as a bellwether for the upcoming presidential election. Walker came to power with strong backing from the Tea Party, but an entirely different group of grassroots activists are now trying to wrest him and his legislative supporters from power. It's a fascinating period in American politics; one in which the traditional means of governance -- elected officials acting indirectly for the will of the people -- is shifting more toward direct political intervention. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? We'll have to answer that in a future article.

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  • The Associated Press. "Wisconsin governor raises $13 million in recall." May 1, 2012 (May 1, 2012.)$13-million-in-recall/
  • Cochran, Tom. U.S. News and World Report. "Recall Elections Waste Public Funds and Cause Chaos." May 10, 2011 (May 1, 2012.)
  • Holeywell, Ryan. Governing. "The Rise of the Recall Election." April 2011 (May 2, 2012.)
  • Maskell, Jack. Congressional Research Service. "Recall of Legislators and the Removal of Members of Congress from Office." Jan. 5, 2012 (May 1, 2012.)'0E%2C*PL%5B%3A%230%20%0A
  • National Conference of State Legislatures. "Recall of State Officials." March 14, 2012 (May 2, 2012.)
  • The New York Times. "Times Topics: Scott Walker." March 30, 2012 (May 1, 2012.)
  • Nichols, Mike. Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. "As politics, the recalls working as planned." Jan. 21, 2012 (May 2, 2012.)
  • State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. "About the Recall Webcam" (May 1, 2012.)
  • Tate, Mike. U.S. News and World Report. "Recall Elections Enhance Democracy." May 10, 2011 (May 3, 2012.)