Clint Kwick creates a sign to promote his efforts to collect signatures to force a recall election of Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. Statewide, about 670,000 signatures need to be collected. (Kevin Passon)

By Kevin Passon

temperatures are helping a Pearson couple collect signatures in the statewide effort to force a recall election of Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

Clint Kwick said Evers’ response to the violence in Kenosha was the last straw in his mind when it came to booting Evers from office.

“To me, he just ain’t expedite enough in his reaction to all the problems going on,” said Kwick, who was joined by his wife, Amanda Kwick, in collecting signatures in Antigo on Friday afternoon.

The couple expects to be collecting signatures again today.

Kwick said Evers is quick to react some events, while delaying reaction in others.

He pointed to the shooing of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police as the latest example.

“Right away, before he waited for any info from investigations down there, he right away starts spouting off, ‘It’s the cops’ fault.’ He didn’t wait for anything. He started fanning the flames instead of waiting until he had all the info, all the knowledge, and then react,” Kwick said. “To me, that wasn’t right. And, then when all the rioting, the looting, the burning started happening down there, he still didn’t react.”

Bradley Jansen of Antigo was among those signing the petition Friday.

He said his opposition to Evers started the night of the 2018 election.

“I thought it was strange they were finding all those absentee ballots on election night,” he said.

Shortly after midnight of that election day, Milwaukee city officials turned over more than 45,0000 uncounted absentee ballots for verification. Those ballots helped boost Democrat Evers in his win over Republican Scott Walker

From the late ballots, Evers received 38,674, and Walker netted 7,181. In the final tally, Evers won the election by about 29,000 votes.

He believed Walker had more widespread support across the state, but Democratic voters in Madison and Milwaukee areas outnumbered other voters. He does not believe voters in one or two cities should be able to swing an entire election, pointing to the national Electoral College as an example of how it can provide balance against a few highly populous states.

Jansen insisted he’s not strictly aligned with either political party, voting more for the candidate than the party.

“Evers just isn’t doing enough,” he said.

Kwick said Evers’ mask mandate was another misstep for the governor.

“That mask mandate pretty much took away our choice,” he said. “I understand some people are nervous with it, but …”

A Recall Evers Facebook page has about 70,000 followers. The Kwicks said if each follower can collect 20 signatures, it would be enough to force an election.

“There’s people, we heard, that are living in bigger cities that are getting 800 signatures a day,” Kwick said.

Statewide, 668,327 signatures are required to force the recall election. They must be collected and filed with the state by Oct. 27. According to the Wisconsin Elections Committee, the number of signatures required to trigger a recall is one-quarter of the number of votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election.

Misty R. Polewczysnki, who lives in Spring Prairie, just west of the Racine County line, filed the required paperwork Aug. 27 with the state to launch her “Recall Tony Evers” and “Recall Mandela Barnes” petition drives.

Terms of office for Evers and Barnes end in January 2023.