When is a million not a million?

From a reader. I have the very best readers. 🙂

OK, so I looked up the GAB link you provided in terms of them uploading the recall petitions for the Senators online. I noticed that the GAB essentially just scanned in the docs and uploaded them as such – no additional combinations, etc.

Then I saw your other link from the GB Press Gazette, the one where Walker got e-copies. They said Walker got 152,300 copies. Using my personal logic, I’m assuming the GAB did the same thing for Walker as they did for the Senators – just scanned in the copies and away they go.

Which brings me to the numbers. How can the Dems say “about a million” when simple math would say “not so much a million”? The Walker petitions only had 5 signature spots per page. 152,300 x 5 signatures = 761,500 signatures. That’s slightly over 3/4 the way to a million, or in my opinion…not “about a million”.

So unless the GAB decided to merge petition pages together to create more signatures per e-page, the number of signatures collected, at maximum, is 761,500.

That is all.

Interesting. The one we saw had five slots. Did others have more? This is something to consider.

My girlfriend K mentioned just this morning that those boxes weren’t at all full when they were pranced into the GAB because women were handling them with one hand. What if it’s all been for show?

I’m not saying the theory above is absolute, but I am saying we haven’t been given all we know to draw a proper conclusion. The Walker/Republican camp has it. The Democrats who collected the signatures know.

I feel left out. 😉


  1. Randy in Richmond says:

    After reading the actual GAB guidelines it can be concluded that:
    Initialing a petition is not directly covered.

    If a signature is questionable, it must be circled.
    (i.e. ET was not circled)

    Signatures do not have to be legible. Addresses more so.

    X’s, stamped signatures , assistor’s signing for disabled–all okay.

    The far left box is for printed name.

    There are 10 lines for signatures on Walker’s petition.

    That’s the short of it.



  2. Randy in Richmond says:


    There are approved petitions for Walker that contain only 5 signature slots.


  3. Fred (RDW) says:

    Q. When is a million not a million?

    A. When Graeme Zielinski & Mike Tate say it is.

  4. The link that Randy in Richmond provided show that there are two forms… one form allows for 10 per page and another allows for 5.

    The 10 per form seems to be for legal sized paper, while the 5 per form looks to be for standard size paper.

    If there is an even split between the two types, and each page is full, that would yield ~1.1 million. Odds are that more people got the type that could go on standard paper, and that not all of them are full, so you can adjust down from there if you like, but it would be possible to still hit one million.

  5. Got it. Thanks Nick.

    Wouldn’t all this be easier to get if we could just see the darn things?

  6. I just counted the signatures in the first 50 pages and came of with an average of just under 3.5 per page (some had 10 slots and some had 5). As far as I can tell, the GAB reported153,335 pages. A little quick math tells me that if the signature per page number holds thourghout, that is ~533,600 signatures — not enough. And that assumes that all are valid. Maybe later pages have more signatures per page; we’ll see.

  7. BrkfldDad says:

    I can see it already. If the count is way off or they fall short, Tate will blame Kathy Nickolaus, just you wait and see 😉

  8. Confirming Nate’s findings…

  9. Bdad! I miss you so much! Thanks for chiming in.

  10. Nate and Dan H – Holy half-page batman! We may have something here.

  11. Nice catch guys.

  12. I went through a few more pages, and it looks like the signatures per page is going up. After 300 pages, the average is up to about 4.2 per page, which would give a total of ~650, 000. That is, of course, assuming that all of them are valid and unique. Best guess — the 1 million figures is total BS and the total number submitted is between 600,000-700,000.

  13. As I go through some random later pages, I think there are more pages with 10 per page than 5 per page. That is somewhat offset by there are some that are completely blank and more with just 1 or two signatures than I would have thought. But I’d still say the average signatures per page is probably somewhere around 6, so the total signatures collected is around 900,000-950,000 (rough estimate)

  14. Ryan? You aren’t allowed to do rough estimates. 😉

    PS – Someone want to throw up a link?

  15. Hmmm… then again, maybe I’m given the petitioners too much credit. Look at this link…. 50 pages with a grand total of 20 signatures:


    That will bring the average down.

    Wonder if there’s more versions of the petition with only one signer per page like page 5 of that link? If there’s any serious number of them, that would bring the average down very quickly as well. Really hard to know by just by picking some pages and extrapolating, but should be easy for the powers that be that are scanning all of these in to discern.

  16. Patrick Wesley says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they are short and botch this whole thing or if they actually got the required amount of signatures. I beleive your estimates do not include an average of 25-30% of signatures being invalidated through common errors. One huge thing I noticed in going over signatures at the Walker camp was that many lines were initialed in the address box or date box. No one can seem to give a straight answer on if this ok to do. I have seen people claim it is and it isn’t. I was averaging about 1 signatue a page that was intitialed by the circulator. Reid Magney, the Government Accountability Board spokesman, said all signatures need to have dates including the year to be counted. Also, he said the person who signed the petition must have written in their own numerical address and the day of the month as well as their signature. The person circulating the petition could not have filled out that information, he said. Others have claimed that the GAB own directions claim it is OK to initital changes to an elector’s information. This may be a large dispute with an outcome we can all guess. I just dont trust the GAB.’

  17. This discussion made me laugh. ALl this prognosticating with everyone convinced they have found something, when really it’s all a lot of Sound and Fury.

    For the record, I never even saw the 5-signature page. The petitions I saw–including the one i signed–had 10 sigs per page….

  18. For the record, I do think less than 1 million signatures were collected, but I also think the total was closer to 1M than it was to the threshold of how many signatures were needed to trigger a recall, so unless (as Patrick suggests) there’s some reason why a very large proportion of signatures will be thrown out (I tend to doubt it), the recall election will move forward.

  19. Randy in Richmond says:

    It’s easy to see what Walker must do. If every petitioner who signed a recall form votes for the as yet unknown Democrat, Walker must in turn get those who already voted for him to do so again. He remains in office.

  20. I doubt very seriously they didn’t get the minimum threshold, but I think that the “1 million” was a lot of puffery to make it seem that there is more support for the recall than really exists.

  21. There’s a whole lot of whistling past the graveyard in these comments; a mess o’ speculation that rivals the Joe Biden mystery illness/Hilary substitution folderol of 2008.

    Let ’em count. There’ll be an election. Hell, there’ll be enough elections for everyone to have their own

  22. Well then grumps, we’ll just let you choose the next topic since you aren’t having any fun with this one.

  23. I apologize, Cindy, for the non-fantasy-based, speculative comment. I certainly did not mean to derail the trainload of “maybes” and what-ifs.”

    Please, natter on.

  24. Randy in Richmond says:

    Please point out my natter in either comment #1 or #20, and I will make the appropriate corrections.

  25. Nah, Randy, it’s ok. Grumps is just uncomfortable that we’re having such fine entertainment at the expense of the lefties in this state.

  26. Fred (RDW) says:

    Lorax, the petitions are online go view for yourself. Many of them do not have 10 signatures, many just have 1. That’s simply fact.

    But you keep right on in your land of make believe…