MADISON, Wis. — Nameless bureaucrats processing petitions to recall the governor shuffle in and out of the frame, stacking, unstacking and scanning seemingly endless piles of paper in a process carried live on an increasingly popular webcam that's so mind-numbingly boring, it's mesmerizing.
Welcome to Wisconsin, where even the dullest of political theater attracts tens of thousands of viewers.
The cam transmits a live feed from the guarded, secret location where petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker and five other Republicans are being housed and processed. Walker immediately turned the state upside down after his election last year, taking on public sector unions and igniting a protest movement that led to the recall effort.
The cam is so popular it has a parody Twitter account(@recallcam) and a growing cadre of followers who nickname the workers, point out when they mug for the camera and generally mock the entire process.
On Tuesday, organizers said they turned in more than a 1.9 million signatures to recall Walker and the others, 3 tons of paper that would extend 66 miles if laid end to end.
And someone has got to deal with all that.
Enter the ultimate in blandly named bureaucratic bodies — the Government Accountability Board — which has the important job of overseeing Wisconsin's elections and determining whether recall elections can proceed.
Its task is to examine every signature and make sure that Mickey Mouses and Adolf Hitlers get caught and discarded, along with any Walker-hater or saboteur who signed multiple times.
The Government Accountability Board wants to be, well, accountable. So as the work proceeds at the secret location, it's letting the public watch.