Friday, May 23, 2014

New Jersey: Vineland mayoral recall gets more time due to big judicial ruling

Big news out of New Jersey that should have an impact beyond recalls. A Superior Court Judge extended the recall deadline for the attempt against Mayor Ruben Bermudez. Petitioners had 160 days (ending on May 19), but the judge has let them continue until a May 30 hearing. Here's the decision:

The decision seems to be similar to a Michigan court ruling that is currently being debated with regard to Representative John Conyers. The city restricted signature gatherers to only registered voters in the municipality itself (and also requires that they personally sign the recall petition).  Petitioners successfully (so far, at least) claimed that this was a violation of free speech and right of association.

 Petitioners need 9,447 signatures (25% of registereds), they claim to have 5,000 confirmed, and also claim that they have over 8,000 over all. Since New Jersey appears to have a very strict signature requirement (by the high percentage of signatures thrown out in other recalls), they will need significantly more. It could be that the new rules lower that strict requirement, but it is not clear by how much.

Also of interest is that one recall proponent went through the rolls, crosschecked them with obituaries to try and lower the total number of voters, and therefore lower the number of signatures. Never heard of anyone doing this, but certainly a good idea for petitioners (with some time on their hands) to try and emulate.

Hat tip to Mickey Brandt at the Grapevine who has kept on top of this.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.