Before he passed away in 1995, my dad was the Deputy Director of the US Census. So I spent a lot of time hearing about statistics growing up. I was pleased to see that someone, in this case the Journal-Sentinel, decided to test a statistically significant sample of the Recall petitions and reached the conclusion that only 15% of the signatures could not be verified.
After randomly selecting petitions and names from the accountability board web site, the newspaper checked available public records including the Wisconsin courts database, a state voter database, LexisNexis.com, the White Pages and other online search engines.
For most of the 73 signatures that couldn’t be verified, there was a record that the person existed and was of voting age, but no address could be found to match the one listed on the petition.
A name was considered invalid in the newspaper review if no record could be found for the signee at the address listed, if they weren’t old enough to vote or if they were a felon under state supervision.
What’s interesting that the errors discovered were not for the breathless GOP fears of Mickey Mouse and Adolf Hitler, but instead it was real people who, for some reason, got some piece of their information incorrect. Lassitude and not fraud seem to be the source of these errors.
But even with a 15% error rate, there will be no problem
bringing Scott Walker to justice recalling Scott Walker.