Another way of removing the “Badger 14” senators is for constituents of each outlaw senator to petition and vote to recall the senator, pursuant to Article 13, Section 12 of the Wisconsin Constitution, and Section 9.10 of the Wisconsin Statutes Annotated. However, some of the senators are currently immune from recall, as recall petitions cannot be filed during the first year of a senator’s term (so that senators who were elected or reelected in November cannot be recalled until early in 20120 apparently only 8 of the 14 are currently eligible for recall, see comment here).
Interest in pursuing the recall option has already been expressed by Wood County Board Chairman Lance Pliml who is “appalled” by the behavior of Sen. Julie Lassa of Stevens Point. “He recommends voters hold recall elections for the senators who don’t attend today’s session and said he’d be willing to circulate the papers to recall Lassa.” (Here.)
Article 13, Section 12, of the Wisconsin Constitution (available online here) reads:
Recall of elective officers. The qualified electors of the state, of any congressional, judicial or legislative district or of any county may petition for the recall of any incumbent elective officer after the first year of the term for which the incumbent was elected, by filing a petition with the filing officer with whom the nomination petition to the office in the primary is filed, demanding the recall of the incumbent.
(1) The recall petition shall be signed by electors equalling at least twenty-five percent of the vote cast for the office of governor at the last preceding election, in the state, county or district which the incumbent represents.
(2) The filing officer with whom the recall petition is filed shall call a recall election for the Tuesday of the 6th week after the date of filing the petition or, if that Tuesday is a legal holiday, on the first day after that Tuesday which is not a legal holiday.
(3) The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of the office until the recall election results are officially declared.
(4) Unless the incumbent declines within 10 days after the filing of the petition, the incumbent shall without filing be deemed to have filed for the recall election. Other candidates may file for the office in the manner provided by law for special elections. For the purpose of conducting elections under this section:
(a) When more than 2 persons compete for a nonpartisan office, a recall primary shall be held. The 2 persons receiving the highest number of votes in the recall primary shall be the 2 candidates in the recall election, except that if any candidate receives a majority of the total number of votes cast in the recall primary, that candidate shall assume the office for the remainder of the term and a recall election shall not be held.
(b) For any partisan office, a recall primary shall be held for each political party which is by law entitled to a separate ballot and from which more than one candidate competes for the party’s nomination in the recall election. The person receiving the highest number of votes in the recall primary for each political party shall be that party’s candidate in the recall election. Independent candidates and candidates representing political parties not entitled by law to a separate ballot shall be shown on the ballot for the recall election only.
(c) When a recall primary is required, the date specified under sub. (2) shall be the date of the recall primary and the recall election shall be held on the Tuesday of the 4th week after the recall primary or, if that Tuesday is a legal holiday, on the first day after that Tuesday which is not a legal holiday.
(5) The person who receives the highest number of votes in the recall election shall be elected for the remainder of the term.
(6) After one such petition and recall election, no further recall petition shall be filed against the same officer during the term for which he was elected.
(7) This section shall be self-executing and mandatory. Laws may be enacted to facilitate its operation but no law shall be enacted to hamper, restrict or impair the right of recall.
The statutory provisions governing recalls are set forth in Chapter 9.10 of the Wisconsin Statutes Annotated, available online here.