Almost half of the signatures needed to recall key Republican Wisconsin state senators have been collected by the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

Democrats have collected over 56,000 signatures supporting a recall of eight state senators who aligned themselves with Republican Gov. Scott Walker's controversial budget repair bill, The Washington Post reported.

"This morning citizens from around the state took the first steps by filing recall papers against key Republican Senators who have stood with Scott Walker and pushed his partisan power grab that will strip thousands of middle class teachers, nurses, librarians and other workers of their right to collective bargaining," the Wisconsin Democratic Party said in an email two weeks ago.

Under Wisconsin law, any elected official who has served at least one year of their current term can be recalled from office. Eight Republican and eight Democratic senators are currently eligible to be recalled. Gov. Walker, who was inaugurated last January, will not be eligible for a recall until 2012.

Democrats need to collect 25 percent of the number who voted in the last gubernatorial election within 60 days of filing for recalls.

Protesters learned Sunday that Wisconsin state senator Randy Hopper's wife reportedly intends to sign the recall petition against him.

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) has vowed to defend the state senators and Republicans have launched their own recall campaign against eight Democratic state senators, but have refused to reveal the amount of signatures they’ve collected.

Republicans currently have a 19 to 14 majority in the Wisconsin Senate.