The History of the Recall in Wisconsin

The recall amendment began in the early 1900s as part of a slate of progressive “good government” reforms meant to decrease the role of special interests on the political process. Progressives believed the recall put more power in the hands of the people, allowing voters to remove corrupt elected officials. Further, they believed the recall mechanism was a way to purge the political process of the influence of money. But as recent recall elections have demonstrated, the effect of the recall amendment has been the exact opposite. Additionally, the recall provision’s original supporters never intended it to be used as it has been in the past two years.

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