The Wisconsin standoff over collective bargaining power may have ended a month ago, but the passion of that battle has shifted to an unprecedented recall fight targeting lawmakers in both parties and to a state high court race where conspiracy charges are flying.
Sixteen lawmakers -- eight Democrats and eight Republicans -- in the recall crosshairs for either voting to limit collective bargaining or for fleeing the state to try and block it.
Dan Baltes, executive director of American Recall Coalition, which is leading the signature-gathering efforts against Democrats, knocked down criticism that the recall fight is a sideshow.
"I believe that anytime someone tries to hijack the political process and tries to take control of the political process, it endangers the process for the republic as a whole," he told Fox News. "And so I believe the recall statutes are there for a reason and ultimately it's going to be up to the voters of Wisconsin to decide whether to recall them or not."
Both sides have been vague on the progress of their recall efforts, but many of the signature-gathering efforts are at the halfway point. The earliest recall would not happen until June. Elections officials are already seeking to push back that deadline.
For a recall election to take place, organizers must first gather enough signatures -- the number varies depending on the turnout in the last regular election -- and then voters decide whether to keep the incumbent or pick someone new.
Last week, Democrats filed their first petition to try to recall a GOP senator who supported Gov. Scott Walker's law, which stripped most public employees of their collective bargaining power.
Sen. Dan Kapank represents a Democratic-leaning district in western Wisconsin. Two other Republican senators and three Democrats also face probable recall elections.
Democrats pursuing the three Republicans have spent $160,000, far more than recall organizers in the GOP.
While recall efforts initially took a backseat to the larger political battle unfolding, it has become clear that the process could dramatically affect Walker's agenda.
If Republicans lose just three seats, they would give up their 19-14 majority and with it the power that allowed them to aggressively push the legislation through despite ear-splitting protests that drew tens of thousands of protesters to the Capitol.
Walker signed the measure March 11. It is being challenged in court.
In an opinion article published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday, Walker didn't mention the recall efforts but defended his budget-repair plan that he said was needed to balance the state's $3.6 billion deficit.
"The budget plan I introduced last month makes the hard choices and in doing so makes a commitment to the future," he wrote. "We are finally carrying our fair share, so we don't leave a larger problem for our children and grandchildren."
Meanwhile, fallout continues over the state Supreme Court race after a substantial vote-change count in Waukesha County last week gave the conservative incumbent, David Prosser, the lead over his little-known liberal challenger, JoAnne Kloppenberg. The outcome of the race could determine the fate of the new collective bargaining law, since the law will go to the state Supreme Court for review.
Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said it was "human error" that resulted in more than 14,000 votes from her predominantly GOP county not being reported on Tuesday. That gave Prosser about a 7,500-vote advantage.
In a press conference on Thursday, she was backed by Ramona Kitzinger, an 80-year-old Democratic observer who told reporters that Nickolaus' numbers "jived" with what she saw.
But Kitzinger is now saying she cannot vouch for the accuracy of Nickolaus' numbers.
In a statement released Monday by the Waukesha Democratic Party, Kitzinger said she is "still very, very confused about why the canvass was finalized."
"I am 80 years old and I don't understand anything about computers," Kitzinger said. "I don't know where the numbers Kathy was showing ultimately came from, but they seemed to add up."
Kitzinger added that she wasn't told until the press conference that Nickolaus' mistake "could swing the whole election."
The campaign manager for Prosser told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Saturday he was open to a recount of votes only in Waukesha Country.
"If you need to do a recount in Waukesha and Waukesha alone to satisfy heightened interest, that's fine," Brian Neimor told the newspaper. "We believe it will only affirm the margin of victory we now enjoy."
Kloppenburg is considering a recount.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.