Signatures verified in Idaho county commissioner recall effort

A recall effort seeking to remove two of the three Lincoln County commissioners in Idaho was approved for the ballot on April 6, 2020. The recall election for Rick Ellis and Roy Hubert is scheduled for August 25.

The two commissioners were targeted for recall after they voted to build a new courthouse in a different location in the county. Recall supporters said they were seeking to recall Ellis and Hubert due to a “willful disregard for the wishes and desires of the public” and “deliberately ignoring the results of two public surveys regarding the renovation of the courthouse.”

Ellis said the issues surrounding the courthouse started when the community took a survey detailing what they wanted in regards to renovations. He said that the survey results showed that “they wanted to renovate the existing courthouse and build a new, approximately 12,000 square foot annex.” He said that the same survey showed that residents would vote in favor of a bond for that project. However, when it came time to vote, he said, “fifty-one percent showed up to support the bond, and it failed. Because it took a super majority of 67 percent to win.”

Recall supporters had to submit petitions with 442 signatures in April 2020 to get the recall on the ballot. They submitted 608 signatures on April 3, and the county verified 563 of the signatures on April 6.

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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