Monday, January 20, 2014

Idaho: Odd technicality kills Lake Pend Oreille School Board/Gun Control recall

A very odd procedural error -- which may have been assisted by a poor reading of the statue by county employees -- has scotched the recall effort against Lake Pend Oreille School Board Chairman Steve Youngdahl. Youngdahl was facing a recall over his proposal to arm school staff (and specifically, the data he used to support his argument).

Petitioners handed in their signatures in two stages. The handed in 99 valid signatures on December 20, and another 8 on December 24 (I believe they needed 105). According to the petitioners, the county employees "didn't initially see a problem with this approach..."

However, the Secretary of State ruled that petitioners have to hand them all in at once (a position that is clearly supported by the plain reading of the statute). This is a very different rule than Idaho has for non-recall petition signatures.
"Unlike other petitions for which multiple signature pages may be submitted during the signature-gathering period, this law does not allow for additional signatures to be submitted once the clerk has verified them,” Bonner County Clerk Ann Dutson-Sater said in a letter to recall supporters.
The article notes that petitioners do not seem interested in recirculating petitions.

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