Recall election moves forward in Jackson, Michigan

Downtown Jackson as seen from 12th floor of One Energy Plaza (CMS Energy World Headquarters)
Photo credit: Phillip L. Hofmeister

In Michigan, a recall election against Jackson Councilwoman Kelsey Heck is set to be on the May 5 ballot. The Jackson County Elections Clerk’s Office verified the signatures in the recall effort against Heck and posted an issuance of election on January 21.

Resident Susan Murdie initiated the recall effort in July 2019. Petitions listed the following as reasons for recalling Heck:

  • “For her June 11, 2019 vote in favor of Resolution for Approval of contract with MDOT for Greenwood Avenue/S. Jackson Street-Morrell Street to Franklin Street.”
  • “For her February 12, 2019 vote in favor of Ordinance 2019 02, for Relocation Assistance for displaced tenants.”

Murdie started gathering signatures in October 2019. There were 320 signatures submitted for verification on December 17, 2019. At least 226 valid signatures were required to put the recall election on the ballot.

Heck said the recall effort was initiated because of her appointment to the council seat in September 2018. Murdie was also a candidate for the position. Heck said the city’s charter should be changed to allow for special elections to fill vacancies on the city council.

In 2019, Ballotpedia covered a total of 151 recall efforts against 230 elected officials. Of the 66 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 34 were recalled for a rate of 52%. That was lower than the 63% rate and 57% rate for 2018 and 2017 recalls, respectively.

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See below for additional reading:
Laws governing recall in Michigan
Political recall efforts, 2020