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Stationed along Fish Hatchery Road in Madison, Wisconsin, Hall Hardy gathers a signature from a motorist stopped at a drive-thru petition signing area Tuesday, November 15, 2011. An effort to initiate recall elections against Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and three Republican state senators is underway with organizers hoping to obtain at least 540,000 signatures from state residents within 60 days. 

A man who stopped his pickup truck at a site where signatures were being collected Thursday for the recall of Gov. Scott Walker ripped up one of the petitions instead of signing it, Madison police said.

The incident happened at about 10 a.m. in the 800 block of South Midvale Boulevard, said police spokesman Joel DeSpain.

The signature gatherers were holding signs and having vehicles pull into a parking lane when a driver in a red pickup stopped. When given a petition to sign, he ripped it up and drove away, DeSpain said.

The destroyed petition had three signatures on it, he said.

Signature takers were able to get the license plate number, but police had not located the man as of Thursday afternoon, DeSpain said.

Falsifying, defacing or destroying a recall petition is a felony punishable by up to three years and six months in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Also Thursday, Madison police told people collecting signatures on recall petitions to stop placing cones in the parking lanes of city streets as some have done.

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Police said they have received complaints about the placement of cones in roads — effectively reserving the parking lane for use by the petitioners — specifically on Fish Hatchery Road and Monroe Street.

No citations were issued because the cones were removed when officers notified the signature collectors.

"To put cones out in the street, you need a street use permit," DeSpain said.

DeSpain said there also have been questions about officers assisting the petitioners, but he said there had been no assistance offered or given by officers to the recall petitioners.

The signature gatherers on Midvale Boulevard, where the petition was ripped up, were not using cones, police said.

— Bill Novak of The Capital Times contributed to this report.

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