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GAB attorney won't ask for candidates to taken off ballot over printed signatures

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - An attorney for the state elections' agency says it will not recommend that any candidates be left off this fall's ballots, just because those who signed their petitions were not legible in printing their names.  

Attorney Mike Haas said Wednesday that a number of candidates had printed signatures stricken, under a new law that requires signers to both write their names and print them legibly. But Haas said nobody fell short of their required numbers of signatures solely because of legibility issues.

Republicans passed the new law after Governor Scott Walker's camp couldn't determine the identities of everyone who signed the petitions to recall him in 2012.  

This week, Assembly GOP elections committee chair Kathy Bernier cried foul, saying the Government Accountability Board was enforcing the law too strictly.  

A board spokesman said it was not enough for a signature to be read clearly -- and that the person's printed name also had to be completely legible.  

One candidate accused the board of splitting hairs by rejecting a printed name that was squiggly. Two candidates had all their petitions rejected because they used old forms which did not have room for signers to print their names.  

The board is still taking challenges to papers from 316 state and federal candidates. They'll decide next Tuesday who qualifies to get on the August 12th primary ballot.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)