Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Massachusetts: Reading Select Board Chair recall facing coronavirus scheduling issues

The coronavirus pandemic and a challenge to the signatures has meant that the Reading Select Board Chair Vanessa Alvarado has still not been scheduled. Alvarado is also claiming that the signatures were fraudulently obtained.  2239 valids were submitted, petitioners needed 1998 to get on the ballot. Alvarado's attorney has objected to 912 signatures. Each person would have to show up to a meeting to have their name stricken from the petition.

The issue seems to be questions regarding the search for a new police chef. The leader of the petition driver was former Select Board member John Arena (who lost to Alvarado two years ago).

The election has to be scheduled by October 6. It could coincide with the September state primary, but there is a push against that, as it would mean doubling the number of poll workers. Right now, they are looking at an all-mail ballot.

There is also a concern about replacements -- who would need to collect 50 signatures to get on the ballot. There is no provision to waive that requirement. 

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