Quirk of Wis. recall could lead to unusual outcome

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by Laura Matovina

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Wisconsin elects its governor and lieutenant governor as a single ticket, generally ensuring that the top executive and second-in-command are of the same political party. However, a quirk in next week's recall elections means a Democrat could win one race and a Republican the other.

The lieutenant governor is technically in charge whenever the governor leaves the state. So in theory, if the governor is traveling, his rival could sign bills, issue executive orders or hand out pardons. The governor could undo most actions upon returning, although a pardon is irreversible.

Voters most likely will elect a governor and lieutenant governor of the same party. But if not, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee political scientist Mordecai Lee predicts Wisconsin's governor is unlikely to leave a state that is currently so politically divided.

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