Sunday, January 31, 2021

California: Updates on California Gubernatorial Recall

Chair of Virgin Galactic and billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, who has announced a plan to run in a recall, has given $100,000 to the recall effort against Newsom. Notably, rich guy bankrolling recall to run for the position did not work out well last time for Congressman Darrell Issa

John Cox, who lost to Newsom in 2018, seems to be set to run and is (unsurprisingly) predicting that Newsom will lose the race. Again, notably, while recall reruns have worked fine for many people, not so much in Gubernatorial recalls

Also, here's a Los Angeles Times column that is focused on me and this blog.

Alaska: Anchorage Assembly District facing recall efforts over pro-Nazi/vanity license plates social media posts

Anchorage Assembly Member Jamie Allard is facing recall efforts after she posted on Facebook defending vanity license plates with the words "fuhrer" and "3reich." Allard also alleged wrote that the words "are simply German words with no offensive connotation." She also said alleged wrote that "progressives have put a spin on it and created their own definition." 

Governor Mike Dunleavy has since removed Allard from the state's Human Rights Commission. Petitioners need about 2500 signatures to get on the ballot.

Arizona: Cochise County Supervisor facing recall threats over attendance in January 6th Capitol riot, conspiracy theory postings

Cochise County Supervisor Peggy Judd is facing recall threats after participating in the January 6th U.S. Capitol riot/insurrection, as well as posting conspiracy theories from the QAnon movement on Facebook. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

Oklahoma: Firm pushing McAlester Mayor and Council members recall hit with $4M default judgment

Forum Consulting Group, which was involved in a recall effort against McAlester Mayor John Browne and City Councilmembers Cully Stevens, James Brown and Zach Prichard, has been hit with a $4 million libel and slander default judgement by a Garvin County judge.

The judgments is in favor of Pauls Valley Councilmember Patrick Grimmett, who is also a Pauls Valley General Hospital trustee. The issue was the posting of a video falsely claiming abuse and adultery. 

The recall effort against the McAlester officials was over their vote to require protective face covering law to combat coronavirus pandemic. 

Browne has since said that he will try to remove a $100 fine provision from the law that requires faces to be covered in public settings in order to fight the pandemic. 

Oklahoma: Norman City Council recall tossed out due to Supreme Court decision

The recall effort against  Norman City Councilmember Alison Petrone has been tossed out by the Oklahoma Supreme Court due to its recent ruling in the Enid recall.  The court held that the municipal recall form needed an affidavit attesting to valid signatures and a warning against fraud. There are claims of voter fraud in the signature gathering process.

The recall effort appeared to get enough valid signatures to get on the ballot. Petitioners handed in 3444 signatures and had 2580 valid. 2573 were needed. 

An earlier recall against Mayor Breea Clark failed, as petitioners handed in 20661 and needed 18,124. Over 3600 signatures had been tossed out.  

City Councilwoman Sereta Wilson previously resigned in the face of the recall threat. It seems that they haven't handed in signatures against two other councilmembers who were threatened, City Council members Kate Bierman and Stephen Holman. 

The recall is over a vote to cut the police department's proposed budget by $865,000 (it appears not to be an actual cut -- the police wanted a big increase and got only a smaller one). There are also complaints about the council's push to require masks to stave off the coronavirus pandemic.

One other wrinkle -- Petrone is up for her regularly scheduled election a month later. 

South Carolina: My Op-ed looking at the proposed South Carolina recall

 Here it is in Statehouse Report. For some refresher: 

State Representatives Lin Bennett (R) and Patrick Haddon (R) are proposing a recall law (H.3256) for all state officials.

The rule would require 20% of registered voters for a recall of statewide officials and 25% for state-district and local officials. The rule would give a grace period from being sworn in and then have to wait two years after a failed recall. 

Nebraska: St. Paul Mayor facing recall effort

St. Paul Mayor Joel Bergman is facing a recall effort over the decision to not retain the police chief. Bergman was first elected in 2018. Petitioners need 257 signatures to get on the ballot by February 2.

Maine: New Gloucester Selectman recall makes the ballot

The recall effort against New Gloucester Selectman George Colby has made the ballot, with petitioners having over 300 signatures verified. They handed in 335 signatures and needed 293 (10% of turnout in the district in the last gubernatorial election) to get on the ballot.

Colby been censured after yelling out racist comments at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance during a recent board meeting (he allegedly said "Liberty and Justice for all, for everyone. Even us white folks!). E. The lead petitioner is a former Selectman. There is a supermajority provision, which requires that 55 percent of voters oppose Colby for the recall to lead to his removal.


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

California: Los Angeles Sheriff facing potential recall effort

 Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva is facing calls for his removal, including a potential recall threat. The sheriff's department is facing a civil rights probe over claims of excessive force, retaliation and misconduct.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

California: Wall Street Journal Op-ed and a deeper look at the Governor Gavin Newsom recall

Here's a link to an op-ed I wrote in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal on the likelihood of success of the Gavin Newsom recall effort. Let's explore the issues a little bit more below: 

Getting on the ballot is very doable, but Newsom has some advantages that may make this recall very different from the Gray Davis one.

California Governor has arguably the loosest recall requirements of any in the country. I run through the reasons why I believe that is true here

Despite being a now deep-blue state (it wasn’t always so!), California is not the Democratic monolith that many seem to believe. Go back to, oh, November, and you will find out that Donald Trump got six million votes. He may have been trounced percentage-wise, but California was his top state by pure numbers. If less than a third of those six million voters sign the petition, the Newsom recall is easily getting on the ballot. That’s one piece of good news for petitioners. 

The is that once a recall gets on the ballot it historically has a good chance of succeeding. 60% of recalls result in a removal, with another 5-7% resigning. 

The good news for Newsom is substantial: The Davis recall took place in a much different political climate for the country, one that saw a greater willingness on the part of voters to split their ticket (The Dakotas had four Democratic Senators at the time!). More importantly, California was a much different state. In 2000, Al Gore won 53%. This year, Biden won 63%. The margin of victory has also expanded. John Kerry won by close to 10% in 2004. But Joe Biden came in with a 29% victory. 

The direct comparison is even starker: Gray Davis eeked out a victory in 2002 by less than 5% -- Newsom won in 2018 by almost 24%. 

Separate factor at play is a look at all three gubernatorial recall elections, which saw only a small movement in the vote for the governor between the general election victory and the recall. In 1920, North Dakota’s Lynn Frazier won office with 51%, beating Democrat James Francis Thaddeus O’Connor (who got 49%). Frazier then got 49% of the vote in the 1921 recall, losing to fellow Republican Ragnvald Nestos (who got 51%). In 2002, Gray Davis got 47 percent of the vote, beating Bill Simon (who got 42%). Third party candidates did well in this race and turnout was an all time low. Davis effectively received 44 percent of the vote in the 2003 recall. In 2010, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker received 52 percent of the vote against Democrat Tom Barrett. In the 2012 recall, he got 53 percent (also against Barrett). 

Note that the California recall is a different process than the other two states. California uses an up or down vote on the official, followed by a same-day replacement race. North Dakota and Wisconsin saw a straightforward new election, which may be an advantage for the official, as they can contrast their stands with another candidate, rather than with themselves (as in California). 

 But the big takeaway that has to be dealt with is that Newsom would need a 12 point drop to get removed.

Oklahoma: State Supreme Court tosses out Enid Commissioner recall

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has thrown out the recall effort against Enid Commissioner Ben Ezzell, overturning a lower court ruling allowing the recall to go foward. The recall had been set for February 9, 2021.

Ezzell argued that the district court was incorrect in not requiring a strict truthfulness test in the petition, instead going with an "implicitly complied" one. He also argues that it does not contain language and warnings as required by a 1998 court ruling (Clapsaddle v. Blevins). The court ruled that the "fatal flaws" needed to be corrected by the court. 

The recall date was set to be held on the same day as the new elections for commissioner. Ezzell was termed out, so the race would have been focused on the last three months of his term. One of the candidates to replace Ezzell was a lead petitioner in the recall. 

The issue was Ezzell's support for the city to enforce the state's COVID-19 alert system and his criticism of the police chief for a failure to enforce a mask mandate proposal designed to combat the pandemic.

Update: The issue is now closed as there was no petition for a rehearing

Wyoming: Op-ed on the legal challenges of a federal recall

Here's an op-ed I wrote for the Casper Star Tribune on why a recall against Congresswoman Liz Cheney is very unlikely to occur as well as providing a look at the recall in Wyoming.

Oregon: Former Portland Mayor, target of recall threats, joining current city administration

An update on former Portland Mayor Sam Adams, who faced recall threats back in 2009, and is now in talks to return to City Hall as a high level staffer. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Arizona: State GOP Meeting leads to some calls for Gubernatorial recall

A raucous State GOP meeting/election featured Daniel McCarthy, a former U.S. Senate candidate, calling for the recall of Governor Doug Ducey (R). McCarthy, who was booed, had previously proposed a third party after he lost the Senate primary in 2020. 

Ducey has previously faced recall efforts that failed. Two of them were over the statewide mask mandate to combat the coronavirus pandemic and earlier effort opposing stay-at-home orders. 

Congressman Paul Gosar (R) was supporting a recall effort over Ducey's refusal to violate the law and support the unconstitutional overthrow of the state's Electoral College vote. 

Petitioners would need over 594,111 signatures in 120 days.

Colorado: Douglas County School Board members facing recall effort over shutdowns

Douglas County School Board members Susan Meek, Elizabeth Hanson, Christina Ciancio-Schor and David Ray are facing a recall effort over a vote to postpone a classroom return due to the coronavirus pandemic. One parent is putting up $100,000 for the recall effort. The petitioner is looking to get 80,000 signatures -- presumably in the aggregate, rather than for each member. 

Update: About 15,000 signatures are required for each official.  

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Canada: Call to expand recall in British Columbia to local level

The Canadian Taxpayer Federation is looking to expand the British Columbia recall to the local level. Right now, it is only available against MLAs.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Missouri: Senate Education Committee reports out bill that would establish procedures for school board recalls

The Missouri Senate Education Committee has pushed forward a bill that, among other things, will establish procedures for school board recalls. It sounds like petitioners would need 25 percent of registered voters, though let's see the final bill. This bill was sponsored by Senator Cindy O'Loughlin (R). Presumably, this is different than an earlier bill which also proposed expanding the recall to school boards.

Colorado: Buckhorn Valley Metropolitan District Board Members facing recall effort

Buckhorn Valley Metropolitan District Number 2 (BVMD) board members are facing a recall effort. Presumably, the members are John Hill, Anna Maria Ray, David Garton, Jr. and Scott Green (a fifth seat is open). Petitioners got approval from a District Court Judge. They would need about 300 signatures to get on the ballot (40 percent of voters). 

The issue is developer control of the community (petitioners claim the developers of the area have too much control of the board and its decisions). 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

New Mexico: Otero County Commissioner facing recall effort for role in Capitol riot

Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, who was arrested for rioting at the US Capitol on January 6, is facing a recall effort, with two fellow commissioners, Vickie Marquardt and Gerald Matherly, saying they will support the recall effort if he does not resign. The Attorney General of the state has also called for his resignation. 

In addition to his participation in the seditious riot, he has been accused of calling for the murder of the Governors of Virginia and Michigan, called for violence at President Joe Biden's inauguration. 


Alaska: Petitioners making new effort in Governor recall effort

Petitioners have announced they are making a new push to collect the remaining 22,000 signatures to get the recall of Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) on the ballot. Petitioners need 71,252 valids to get on the ballot. 

The Supreme Court has already upheld the recall and said that it meets the state's malfeasance standard. There is no time limit for the collection of the signatures. 

If Dunleavy were recalled, there would not be a replacement race. Instead, the Lieutenant Governor (a Republican) would automatically be moved up to Governor.

Maine: Signatures handed in against New Gloucester Selectman

Petitioners have handed in 335 signatures for the recall of New Gloucester Selectman George Colby. The need 293 (10% of turnout in the district in the last gubernatorial election) to get on the ballot.

Colby been censured after yelling out racist comments at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance during a recent board meeting (he allegedly said "Liberty and Justice for all, for everyone. Even us white folks!). E. The lead petitioner is a former Selectman. There is a supermajority provision, which requires that 55 percent of voters oppose Colby for the recall to lead to his removal.

Wisconsin: Waunakee School Board President recall fails

The recall effort against Waunakee School Board President Dave Boetcher has failed, with no signatures handed in. The effort focused on Boetcher's push to protect students during the coronavirus pandemic, with complaints that he condemned gathering and voted against medium and high-risk sports for the winter. Petitioners needed  2612 signatures to get on the ballot.

Oklahoma: Petition to change recall law fails to get enough signatures

Unite Norman, the political group that has led recall efforts in the city over the coronavirus pandemic response, has failed to get enough signatures to get a measure on the ballot that would change the recall law. The current law requires signatures of 25% of registered voters. The proposal would have changed that to 35% of turnout, a much lower figure. 

Florida: Former Sebastian City Council member sues to overturn recall

Former City Councilman Damien Gilliams, who was one of three Sebastian City Council members kicked out in a recall in September, is suing to overturn the result. Gilliams is arguing about the validity of the signatures, that the recall started on the wrong date and that the malfeasance standard was not met.

The recall seems to have started over fights with the Mayor and other council members -- the three were elected on on a platform of opposition to an 1100 acre annexation plan last year. Gillams and Parris notably voted against the hiring of a new city attorney.  They were also arrested for breaking the Sunshine Law and perjury for lying to investigators. The three members allegedly voted to fire the city staff and appoint Gilliams mayor in what investigators call an illegal meeting. The two allegedly lied under oath.

Massachusetts: Governor vetoes Barnstable recall law

A proposed recall provision for Barnstable County has been vetoed by Governor Charlie Baker. The bill would have allowed recalls for the County Board of Regional Commissioners.  

Baker said he would work with the legislature to craft a new bill, but had problems with both the timing and the language.

The recall effort came after Commissioner Ronald Beaty Jr. (who lost election in November) heavily criticized a Parkland School Shooting survivor (among other things.

Idaho: Idaho Falls School Board recall set for March 9

The recall against Idaho Falls School Board Trustee Elizabeth Cogliati has been scheduled for March 9. The issue is the hybrid alternate day schedule the board adopted by a 3-2 vote in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The vote followed widespread social distancing guidelines.  

Signatures were also handed in for the recall against Chairwoman Lara Hill, though the didn't meet the requirement. Petitioners needed 481 valid signatures for Hill and 280 for Cogliati. 

There was also an attempt against Trustee Hillary Radcliffe, but because she was appointed to the position, the signature total needed was over 1400, so it seems to have failed.

One of the leaders of the recall effort is State Representative Bryan Zollinger (R), who apparently wanted students in school four days a week. Zollinger had supported Hill in her campaign

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Alaska: Anchorage Assembly Chair recall set for April 6th

The recall of Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera looks like it will be set for the April 6th General Election. Rivera has filed a lawsuit to toss out the recall effort.

The claim is that Rivera didn't stop a meeting which, due to the size of the audience, violated the emergency order limiting crowds during the coronavirus pandemic (there may have been 17 people at the meeting, which had a limit of 15).

Petitions have been rejected for Assembly members Meg Zaletel, Austin Quinn-Davidson and Kameron Perez-Verdia. New petitions are being reviewed for Quinn-Davidson and Perez-Verdia.

California: Riverside City Councilwoman facing recall effort

Riverside City Councilwoman Gaby Plascencia is facing a recall effort. Unfortunately, the article is currently blocked off, but hopefully we'll see the details. Plascencia did previously face complaint over her social media posts claiming that it was hypocritical for Republicans to celebrate Labor Day. Petitioners need about 4300 signatures to get on the ballot.

New Hampshire: Nashua Board of Education members face recall efforts over remote learning/pandemic restrictions

Nashua Board of Education members are facing recall threats over requirements for remote learning in order to fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

This would be an interesting case, as New Hampshire does not have a recall law, but the Nashua City Charter provides for recall of "any elected at-large position."

The article notes that a Superior Court judge ruled the recall provision invalid in 2005, but was not appealed and it remains in the charter. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Washington: Supreme Court rules that Snohomish County Sheriff can face recall

The Washington State Supreme Court has greenlit a recall against Snohmish County Sheriff Adam Fortney over his Facebook comments against the Governor's coronavirus pandemic restrictions, as well as hiring officers previously fired for misconduct. (there's also a recall effort over his handling of the jails during the pandemic). Fortney claimed that he "will not be enforcing an order preventing religious freedoms or constitutional rights."

The 6-3 Supreme Court vote accepted three of four charges, tossing out one that he failed to investigate the use of force by an officer. The three members who dissented upheld the recall effort over hiring officers for misconduct. They dissented over whether Fortney could face a recall over inciting people to ignore pandemic restrictions in his Facebook comments. 

A Cowlitz County Judge (moved for conflict of interest reasons) has previously approved the legal grounds for the first submission, though is not approving online signature gathering or any other changes to the process.

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California: California Democratic Party criticized for calling recall "coup"

The California Democratic Party has been criticized for calling the recall effort against California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) a coup. The LA Times and others has criticized this language and the party seems to have backed off

Here's some of the relevant language from the LA Times:

We fear that party leaders might not have access to one, based on their imprudent decision to dub a recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom the "California coup," thus likening a perfectly democratic process enshrined in the state's Constitution to the act of forcefully or even violently seizing government power.

Here's what the party could have said instead: Recalls, though allowed by the state Constitution, ought not to be used lightly and certainly not to settle political scores. These powerful tools of democracy are expensive and distracting, and they ought to be used only in situations in which a sitting official has committed malfeasance or is no longer capable of governing, not simply because you don't like that person's policies.

Alaska: Anchorage Assembly Chair recall goes to the courts

A lawsuit has been filed to toss out the recall effort against Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera. Petitioners claim that they have enough signatures for the recall -- they handed in 5100 signatures and claim that 2971 have been verified. They need 2735 signatures. 

The claim is that Rivera didn't stop a meeting which, due to the size of the audience, violated the emergency order limiting crowds during the coronavirus pandemic (there may have been 17 people at the meeting, which had a limit of 15).

Petitions have been rejected for Assembly members Meg Zaletel, Austin Quinn-Davidson and Kameron Perez-Verdia. New petitions are being reviewed for Quinn-Davidson and Perez-Verdia. 

UK: MP who travelled with COVID symptoms facing recall push

Minister of Parliament Margaret Ferrier (a former SNP member) is facing recall threats after refusing to self isolate and taking a train from Glasgow to London despite having the coronavirus. Ferrier has been charged with culpable and reckless conduct. She could face a recall vote if suspended for more than 10 days. Petitioner would need 8100 signatures to get on the ballot. 

California: Placentia-Yorba Linda School Board member facing recall threats for attending Capitol Hill riot

Placentia-Yorba Linda School Board member Leandra Blades is facing recall threats after she attended the rally before the January 6 US Capitol riot. Blades, a former police officer, was criticized for being a part of a Facebook group that was eventually blocked. No word on how many signatures are needed, though since Blades was just elected, she may be under a 90 day grace period until a recall can start.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Florida: Miami Beach Commissioner facing recall threats

Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Arriola is facing recall efforts over touting conspiracy theories, unproven coronavirus pandemic treatments, calling for the jailing of Anthony Fauci, unprofessional behavior on Facebook posts and alleged racist and anti-Semitic posts. While Arriola was originally elected as a Democrat in 2015, Democrats are sponsoring a censure resolution against him.

California: San Ramon School Board board members facing recall over remote learning/coronavirus pandemic protection measures

San Ramon School Board President Susanna Ordway and board members Rachel Hurd and Ken Mintz are facing petitions over the continuation of remote learning in order to ward off the coronavirus pandemic. Two other board members, Laura Bratt and Shelly Clark, are still in their 90 day grace period, so are not yet eligible for a recall petition.

Update: Signature collection has begun.

Colorado: Montezuma-Cortez School Board Member recall election set for February 16

The recall election of Montezuma-Cortez School Board member Lance McDaniel is scheduled for February 16. McDaniel is facing a recall effort over Facebook posts where he espouses progressive causes and claims to be antifa and was seemingly upset about a park naming. Petitioners handed in more than the 1126 signatures needed. Cody Wells is the only candidate in the replacement race

USA: Aftermath of attempt to overthrow Biden election victory and vote for impeachment of Trump leads to calls for recalls

Two discussions of recalls against House Republican members -- one an online petition against Representative Liz Cheney (WY-R) for her vote to impeach Trump for his efforts to overthrow the government; the other a letter calling for the recall of Representative Catherine McMorris Rodgers (WA-R) over her vote attempting to toss out the election of Biden on false claims of electoral fraud. 

Once again, it is likely that members of Congress are not eligible for a recall vote. 

Taiwan: Taoyuan City Councilor ousted in recall vote

Taoyuan City Councilor Wang Hao-yu (Democratic Progressive Party) was ousted in a recall vote, 84,582-7138. Petitioners needed 81,940 votes (25% of eligible voters) to be cast, so they cleared the "absentee veto" requirement (they got 28.14%). The recall was seen as revenge for the Kaohsiung City Mayor Han Kuo-yu recall. There will be no replacement vote, though Wang cannot run for four years. 

Canada: Columnist on Alberta's "weaksauce" recall bill

Here

Colorado: Parker Mayor facing recall threats over Parler conspiracy posts

A recall effort may be launched against Parker Mayor Jeff Toborg after the revelation that he has been sharing conspiracy theories on a Parler account, including false claims that the January 6th riot was a "false flag" and anti-Covid coronavirus pandemic vaccine posts. Petitioners cannot start a recall until June. 

Colorado: Court case examines fight over signatures for Avon Mayor, Councilmember recall effort

Very interesting discussion in the Vail Daily (written by Tom Lotshaw) on the underlying issues in the court case over the recall against Avon Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes and Councilmembers Amy Phillips and Tamra Underwood. 

The City Clerk had found that petitioners failed to hand in enough valid signatures to he recall effort is over leaving a real estate transfer tax in place is still ongoing. Petitioners need 496 signatures, though it was originally believed to be 479. They missed on Underwood by 71 and by Hymes by 51. Phillips is up for reelection in November, so the recall was not allowed based on the grace period.

Because of Vail's election law, voters can cast ballots for four candidates. So there is a significant debate on voters that did not cast all four votes (the undervote). Here's the article by Lotshaw explaining the current court fight:

Each side points to provisions governing recall processes in the Colorado Constitution and Colorado Revised Statutes. Those require signatures equaling 25% of the “entire vote cast” for all the candidates for the particular office in the last preceding election, with that 25% of the entire vote cast then divided by the number of candidates who were elected to the office in that preceding election. 

 The town and the Avon Recall Committee seem to agree that 1,984 voters cast 5,276 votes in the 2018 election for the Avon Town Council, when Hymes and Underwood were elected to their seats. Disagreement seems to center around the “undervotes” in the election, and how they should factor into the tally of votes cast. 

 With eight candidates running for four open seats on the Avon Town Council in 2018, people could vote for up to four candidates. Not every voter cast all four votes, however, resulting in 2,660 undervotes. 

 The town of Avon argues that the undervotes, along with the 5,276 votes cast, make up the “entire vote cast” total used to determine how many voter signatures the Avon Recall Committee needed to submit. That results in the town’s calculation of 496 voter signatures. 

The Avon Recall Committee, in its answer to the town’s complaint, argues that the undervotes should not be part of the total, resulting in its calculation of 330 signatures needed to trigger a recall election. 

“Had each elector cast their maximum allowable votes for town councilor positions, i.e. four votes for four open candidate seats, there would have been 7,936 total votes cast for the town councilor candidates. Under that scenario, there would have been no undervotes,” the Avon Recall Committee writes in its answer to the town’s complaint, filed Jan. 11 by attorney Alan Sweetbaum, of Denver. 

“However, the town contends there were undervotes, which necessarily eliminates the possibility that there were 7,936 total votes cast in the 2018 election for the town councilor positions. Yet, the town contends that 7,936 total votes were cast for purposes of determining the number of signatures required to trigger a recall election … The town clerk’s miscalculation improperly increased the number of signatures the town claimed were required to trigger a recall election.” 

 Wisor and Sweetbaum declined to comment on why the undervotes should be included or excluded from the total vote used to calculate the signatures needed, with more filings in the case expected in coming weeks. 

In its complaint, the town of Avon argues that interpreting Colorado law for recalls and the “entire vote cast” as the Avon Recall Committee proposes would “violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution because they require a town elector to cast the maximum votes allowed in order to have their participation in the town council election equally and fully counted for purposes of a recall.”


Ohio: Recall against four Woodmere Village Council members scheduled for February 23

The recall against four Woodmere Village Council members, Council President Jennifer Mitchell Earley and members Lisa Brockwell, Glenda Todd Miller and Craig Wade, has been rescheduled for February 23.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections had been canceled over complaints that some of the petitions were invalid and the signatures obtain using false claims. 

The recall was seemingly over the lack of a sidewalk on a road and an out of date website. The recall seems to also be about new residents versus old ones. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Nebraska: Crawford Mayor survives recall vote

Crawford Mayor Connie Shell survived a recall vote,  keeping her the position with a 190-141. The recall was over general complaints of "self-serving behavior, including allegations that she threatened Chamber of Commerce members with personal lawsuits.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

California: How California has the easiest signature requirement for Governor in the country

There has been significant movement on the sixth recall attempt against Governor Gavin Newsom (D), with reports that Newsom's team is nervous and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee endorsing the effort. Petitioners claim to have gotten over 1 million signatures already. They need 1495709 valid signatures.

The recall gained some a bit of propulsion due to a group outing that Newsom took to the French Laundry restaurant. This recall effort lists a kitchen sink grouping of reasons, though it is focused on the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic. The lead petitioner is Yolo County Deputy Sheriff Orrin Heatlie, and one of the supporters is Tom Del Beccaro, the former Chairman of the California Republican Party. Two potential candidates have received attention as candidates: former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and former gubernatorial candidate John Cox, who lost to Newsom by more than 20% in 2018.

Getting on the ballot is an achievement, but it does need to be put in context. Among the 19 or 20 states (Virginia's recall law is unclear) that allow recalls for Governors, California has the easiest recall to get on the ballot. Petitioners need only to gather 12% of the votes cast in the last election (5% in every district), and they have a leisurely 160 days to do it. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, they were granted an additional 120 days. 

As a comparison, In 2012, Wisconsin required petitioners to amass 25% of the vote for the governor's office in the last election. They only had 60 days to do it. Wisconsin did have one (very unusual) leniency (the signers only had to be eligible voters, not registered voters).

State laws vary greatly across the country. The divides are generally:

1) Is there a legal reason needed for the recall;

2) how many signatures need to be gathered;

3) who can sign, and;

4) how much time is allowed to collect the signatures. 

11 States are "political recall states" and eight are (broadly defined) what I call malfeasance standard/Judicial Recall states. Nearly state-level recalls are in political recall states (California, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Oregon, Idaho, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado). The only state officer to ever face a recall vote in a malfeasance standard state was a state Senator in Washington in 1981

The signatures required and who can sign vary. It is here that California is noteworthy. The signature laws vary over whether the total needed is decided based on a percentage of how many voters turned out at the last election or how a percentage of how many voters are registered or eligible in the state. Obviously, any state that uses the turnout standard will require significantly fewer signatures.

Nine States requires signatures of 25% of turnout; 

One state requires 40% of turnout; 

One state requires 25% of registered voters;

Two states require 20% of eligible voters; 

Two states require 15% of eligible voters;

Two states require 15% of turnout; 

One state requires 10% of eligible voters (Montana, a malfeasance state)

One state requires 10% of turnout, but this is Virginia, which has recall trials rather an election.

The only states that have lower requirements have strict laws that effectively prevent recalls. 

California's time limit is the fifth most of any state (Alaska has no time limit; New Jersey grants 320 days; Washington gives 270 and Louisiana gives 180). So this gives voters a significant amount of time to get the recall going. 

California also has the benefit of having a developed signature gathering industry. This has made it much easier to get on the ballot than other states.

Hopefully, after an op-ed of mine comes out, I'll explain why getting on the ballot may be easy, but winning is another story. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

North Dakota: Horace Council recall set for March 9, three challengers

The March 9th recall of Horace Council members David Fenelon and Bryan Schmidt has drawn three challengers, Naomi Burkland, Jeffrey Trudeau and Zachariah Lee. The recall is over rising special assessments and a more general complaint about not representing the popular interests (the city is apparently growing). This will be a special election.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

South Carolina: Recall law proposed

State Representatives Lin Bennett (R) and Patrick Haddon (R) are proposing a recall law (H.3256) for all state officials.

The rule would require 20% of registered voters for a recall of statewide officials and 25% for state-district and local officials. The rule would give a grace period from being sworn in and then have to wait two years after a failed recall. 

Ohio: Election Board calls for scheduling of recall against four Woodmere Village Council members

 The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is now pushing for a scheduling of the recall against four Woodmere Village Council members, Council President Jennifer Mitchell Earley and members Lisa Brockwell, Glenda Todd Miller and Craig Wade.

The recall had been canceled over complaints that some of the petitions were invalid and the signatures obtain using false claims. The recall was scheduled for January 19 and it was seemingly over the lack of a sidewalk on a road and an out of date website. The recall seems to be about new residents versus old ones. 

Michigan: University of Michigan Regent facing recall threats

University of Michigan Regent Ron Weiser (R) is facing a recall for not denouncing Donald Trump for his role in inciting in the riots at the U.S. Capitol. Petitioners would need over 1 million signatures in 60 days to get on the ballot. Weiser is the incoming Michigan Republican Party co-chair. 

Colorado: Lawsuit looks to overturn City Clerk's decision throwing out signatures in Westminster Mayor and Councilmembers recall

 A lawsuit has been filed seeking to overturn a city clerk's ruling throwing out signatures in therecall effort against Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison and Councilmembers Anita Seitz, Kathryn Skulley and Jon Voelz. The recall was over water bills. Petitioners needed 25% of turnout, which is 5009 signatures for Atchison and 6,098 for the three council members. Skulley's signatures missed by 61; Atchison by 282; Voelz by 635 and Seitz by 757.

Petitioners are represented by former Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R). They are claiming that the petitions were unlawfully thrown out because it was missing an informational page or because they were placed behind page one of the official petitions. Petitioners claim that the clerk allowed other packets to be corrected.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

California: Governor Newsom recall reaches 1 million signatures; ex-San Diego Mayor

Here and here on San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Canada: Alberta's United Conservative Party removes recall legislation

After nine United Conservative Party ministers, MLAs and senior staffer left Alberta during the locked down, UCP has removed a mention of a potential recall law from their website. 

Malaysia: Recall plan suggested to stop party hopping

 Here

Idaho: West Ada Superintendent resigning at end of the year

West Ada School Superintendent Mary Ann Ranells is resigning at the end of the school year. West Ada has had a mass of recalls surrounding the board's vote over school shutdowns to prevent the coronavirus pandemic.

Board Chairman Phillip Neuhoff resigned rather than face a recall vote. The previous Board Chairman, Ed Klopfenstein resigned in October. Board member Steve Smylie resigned in October. 

Board members Rene Ozuna and Amy Johnson, are also facing recall efforts 

Idaho has an "Queen of the Hill" provision, so if the recall gets to the ballot, the vote must equal or top the number of votes that the board members got in the last election for the recall to succeed.

Four of them board members (all but Johnson), were originally appointed to the board after a 2016 recall led to the ouster of two members and the resignation of two others.

Alaska: Signatures have been handed in against Anchorage Assembly Chair

Petitioners are claiming that they have enough signatures for the recall of Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera. Petitioners handed in 5000 signatures and need 2735 signatures. Yesterday was the due date. 

The claim is that Rivera didn't stop a meeting which, due to the size of the audience, violated the emergency order limiting crowds during the coronavirus pandemic (there may have been 17 people at the meeting, which had a limit of 15).

Petitions have been rejected for Assembly members Meg Zaletel, Austin Quinn-Davidson and Kameron Perez-Verdia. New petitions are being reviewed for Quinn-Davidson and Perez-Verdia. 

California: San Francisco D.A. facing recall effort

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is facing a recall effort after a convict who was arrested on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle and violating probation was released without bail and then ran over two women while running a red light. Boudin had previously served as McAlister's defense attorney when he was a deputy public defender. 

The stories don't seem to list a signature total, but I believe it should be 10 percent of registered voters, which should equal 52,1988 valid signatures. Hopefully, we'll see some verification of that number or a different number.  

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Louisiana: Shreveport Mayor facing petitions

Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins (D) is facing recall petitions. Petitioners would need about 32,000 signatures in 180 days. The recall seems to be of the kitchen sink variety though petitioners are also complaining that Perkins ran for the US Senate (he finished second in that race).

Friday, January 1, 2021

Arizona: Four Maricopa County Board of Supervisors facing recall effort

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman (R), Vice Chair Jack Sellers (R) and Supervisors Bill Gates (R) and Steve Gallardo (D) are facing recall efforts after voting 4-1 to ignore subpoenas issued by the  head of the state Senate's Judiciary Committee, Senator Eddie Farnsworth (R) looking for an audit of the county's election software. The Supervisors instead filed a suit to see if the subpoenas were legal, as there are questions of whether it would illegally expose private information about voters. 

It is unclear if the the fifth Supervisor (who voted against), Steve Churci (R), will also face a recall effort.

Former Maricopa County Treasurer Royce Flora (R) said he will be looking into working with a recall effort as he resigned his position early. Flora lost his job in a primary to State Representative John Allen, but was supposed to stay in the position until January 11, when Allen's term expired.