The recall effort against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker kicked off today with a midnight filing and a series of midnight signature collecting events around the state. Organizers, who are also looking to recall Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, have 60 days to gather 540,208 valid signatures, but they hope to get as many as 700,000. A rally and dozens more signature drives are planned today, including one at the governor’s house. Walker, meanwhile, kicked off an ad campaign last night, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, but he says he is more interested in creating jobs than campaigning.
Only North Dakota and California have held gubernatorial recall elections, both successful, but Wisconsin has more difficult requirements for a recall than many other states, including California. NPR reports that about 8,000 people have been recruited and trained to circulate recall petitions. Also today, recall efforts against three Republican senators will begin. Republicans are fighting back with an online “recall integrity center,” where people can submit proof of fraud if they see it. If enough valid signatures are filed, an election could be held as early as March 27. (Read more recall stories.)