Tagrecall

Washington sheriff recall to be held Aug. 3

A recall election seeking to remove Jerry Hatcher from his position as Benton County Sheriff in Washington is being held on Aug. 3. Recall supporters had to collect 13,937 signatures in six months to put the recall on the ballot. 

The recall effort began in July 2020 and was led by the Benton County Sheriff’s Guild. Members of the guild said Hatcher had performed his duties in an improper manner, committed illegal acts, and violated his oath of office. 

Hatcher, who first took office in May 2017, said the guild was refusing to hold deputies accountable. He said the guild would not let him take disciplinary action against employees who committed wrongdoing.

Washington requires recall petitions to be reviewed by a judge before they can be circulated. Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge Scott Wolfram approved the recall petition against Hatcher on Aug. 20, 2020. Hatcher appealed the decision to the Washington Supreme Court, which ruled on Nov. 6 that the recall effort could move forward and begin collecting signatures. The 13,937 signatures required to get the recall on the ballot was equal to 25% of the votes cast in the last sheriff election. Recall supporters submitted 16,552 signatures on April 23. The Benton County Auditor verified 14,215 signatures, allowing the recall to be put on the ballot.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This was the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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Recall effort to move forward in Avon, Colorado

A recall election against Avon Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes and Councilwoman Tamra Underwood is expected to be on the ballot in November 2021. The recall effort was initiated in August 2020 in response to the Avon Town Council deciding to leave in place a 2% real estate transfer tax, which collects $2.5 million annually.

Recall organizers had until Oct. 12, 2020, to submit 496 valid signatures for each official. There were about 600 signatures submitted against Hymes and Underwood on the day of the deadline. On Oct. 19, Avon Town Clerk Brenda Torres announced that not enough valid signatures had been submitted. Torres found 425 signatures valid in the recall effort against Underwood. There were 445 signatures validated for the Hymes recall.

Recall organizers and town officials disputed the number of signatures required for the recall effort. Torres’ calculations had undervotes counting towards the signature requirement. An undervote occurs when the number of choices selected by a voter in an election is less than the maximum number allowed for that election. An undervote also occurs when no vote is cast. Including undervotes put the signature requirement at 496 signatures, while leaving out the undervotes dropped that number down to 330 signatures.

On June 23, District Court Judge Russell Granger ruled that enough signatures had been submitted against Hymes and Underwood to put the recall elections on the ballot. The following day, members of the Avon Town Council voted 3-2 to appeal Granger’s decision. After holding a public discussion on July 13, the appeal was withdrawn with a 3-2 vote in the town council. The recall election can be scheduled after a certificate of sufficiency is submitted. Town officials expect that certificate to be filed ahead of the town council meeting on Aug. 10.

In response to the recall effort, Hymes said, “Two of the people involved in this recall ran for election last time. They could have run candidates in the 2020 election, but they didn’t think they could succeed, so they’re choosing this backdoor way. They are wasting an enormous amount of town resources in pursuit of this.”

Underwood said about the recall effort, “I essentially find it nothing but an intimidation and bullying tool to discourage people from running for council in Avon, in particular female people running for council in Avon.”

Councilwoman Amy Phillips was also targeted for recall, but that effort was found invalid because Phillips was up for re-election in November 2020.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This was the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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Forty-one candidates qualify for California gubernatorial recall

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) announced on July 17 that 41 candidates had qualified to run in the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). The list of candidates includes eight Democrats and 21 Republicans, among which are former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R), 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox (R), former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose (R), and Caitlyn Jenner (R).

Before the July 16 filing deadline, 76 candidates had filed paperwork with Weber’s office stating their intention to run in the election. In the successful 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis (D), 135 candidates ran in the election. Mackenzie Mays of Politico speculated that the reduction in the number of candidates could be due both to the requirement that candidates share five years’ worth of tax returns and stabilization of Newsom’s political standing.

The recall election will present voters with two questions. The first will ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second will ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election, no majority required. 

Newsom was elected as California’s governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall an incumbent California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled Davis and chose Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) as Davis’ replacement.



Recall election of Colorado city council member scheduled for July 20

A recall election to remove Jon Voelz from the Westminster City Council in Colorado is scheduled for July 20. Voelz first took office in 2019.

The recall effort began in Aug. 2020. Recall supporters allege that Voelz failed to support lower water and sewer rates in Westminster. One of the recall organizers, city resident Gary Shea, stated, “We’ve seen the water bills and some of them have just been so outrageous. A lot of the people that are upset with this are just disappointed that the Councilors that voted for this increase just were not listening to their citizens’ concerns.”

In response to the recall effort, Voelz said: “Westminster residents are being misled because I was not even on the City Council at the time of the vote on water rates that triggered the recall effort. […] I have never voted for a water rate increase during my time on Council. The only vote I have taken on water rates was for a zero increase to rates due to COVID-19.”

Recall supporters also attempted to recall Mayor Herb Atchison and councilors Anita Seitz and Kathryn Skulley. Atchinson resigned effective May 3 after the city clerk announced that enough signatures had been submitted for a recall election to be scheduled. The recall effort against Seitz and Skulley failed due to an insufficient number of signed petitions.

Voters will be asked to choose a candidate to succeed Voelz in the event that he is recalled. Kathleen Dodaro is running unopposed in the replacement race.

Recall supporters had 60 days to collect 6,098 signatures in order to put the recall on the ballot. They submitted 6,732 signatures on Oct. 30. The first batch of signatures was found invalid by City Clerk Michelle Parker, and recall organizers were given until Nov. 30 to gather a second round of signatures. On Dec. 7, Parker found the second round of signature submissions insufficient to move the recall efforts forward.

Adams County District Court Judge Kyle Seedorf ruled on April 18 that the petition signatures that had been previously disqualified had to be re-evaluated. The city clerk’s office announced on April 28 that there were sufficient signatures to trigger a recall election for Voelz.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This is the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Additional reading:

Political recall efforts, 2021

Recall campaigns in Colorado

Westminster, Colorado



Judge rules California Gov. Newsom will not have party designation on recall ballot

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge James P. Arguelles ruled on July 12 that California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) party affiliation will not appear on the September 14 recall ballot. Newsom sued Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) on June 28 seeking to have his party affiliation added to the ballot. Weber cited Newsom’s February 2020 response to the recall petition, in which he did not file a party preference form, as the reason for leaving the party affiliation off the recall ballot.

In the ruling, Arguelles wrote: “First, Governor Newsom’s failure to designate a party preference will not result in a ballot identifying him as ‘Party Preference: None.’ Rather, there will be no reference to party preference next to his name one way or the other. Instead, the recall ballot will simply ask whether he should be recalled.”

A recall election seeking to remove Newsom will take place on September 14. Organizers of the recall campaign submitted 2.1 million signatures by the March 17 filing deadline. Weber’s office found 1,719,943 signatures to be valid – more than the 1,495,970 necessary to trigger a recall election. Voters who signed the petition had until June 8 to request removal from the petition. Forty-three signatures were removed during the removal period, leaving 1,719,900 valid signatures on the petitions.

The filing deadline for candidates to run in this election is July 16. As of July 12, 70 individuals had filed to run, including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R), 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox (R), former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose (R), and Caitlyn Jenner (R).

Newsom was elected as California’s governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall an incumbent California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was chosen as Davis’ replacement.

The recall election will present voters with two questions. The first will ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second will ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election, no majority required. In the 2003 recall of Davis, 135 candidates ran and the winner received 48.58 percent of the vote.



Mayoral recall effort underway in Portland, Oregon

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is facing a recall effort after a group filed petitions on July 1, with volunteers starting to gather signatures on July 9. Petitioners have until Sept. 29 to submit at least 47,788 valid signatures to put the recall election on the ballot.

The recall effort is organized by Total Recall PDX. Audrey Caines was hired in June to work as campaign manager for the recall, and Melissa Blount was named chief petitioner. Petition language cites the following as reasons for a recall election: “Portlanders are ready to recover and we can’t afford to waste the next three-and-a-half years. Portland deserves better than an uninspiring mayor reelected with less than 47% of the vote. We deserve a mayor who was elected without illegally loaning his campaign $150,000 of his personal money. Our neighbors, families, and businesses deserve a mayor who prioritizes their safety and well-being.”

Wheeler was elected as mayor of Portland in 2016 with 54% of the vote, and he won re-election in 2020 with 46% of the vote. The mayor’s office had not issued a statement regarding the recall effort as of July 9, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The number of valid signatures required to force a recall election in Oregon is 15% of the total number of votes cast in the public officer’s electoral district for all candidates for governor at the last election at which a candidate for governor was elected to a full term. Signatures are required to be turned in no later than 90 days after the petition is filed.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This was the most recall efforts for that point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Additional reading:



Gavin Newsom recall set for Sept. 14

California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis (D) announced that a recall election seeking to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will take place on September 14. Recall organizers turned in 1,719,943 valid signatures, more than the 1,495,970 necessary to trigger a recall election. Forty-three voters removed their signatures during a removal period, leaving 1,719,900 valid signatures on the petitions.

Recall supporters said Newsom mishandled the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, did not do enough to address the state’s homelessness rate, and supported sanctuary city policies and water rationing. In a March 2021 email, Newsom called the effort a “Republican recall — backed by the RNC, anti-mask and anti-vax extremists, and pro-Trump forces who want to overturn the last election and have opposed much of what we have done to fight the pandemic.”

Newsom was elected as California’s governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was chosen as Davis’ replacement.

A recall election will present voters with two questions. The first will ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second will ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election, no majority required. In the 2003 recall of Davis, 135 candidates ran and the winner received 48.58 percent of the vote.

As of July 1, 2021, 68 individuals had announced campaigns for the recall election. Among those are former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R), 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox (R), former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose (R), and Caitlyn Jenner (R).



California secretary of state determines there are enough signatures for recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom to proceed

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) announced that the recall campaign against Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) had enough signatures following the removal period to move forward. She directed the state Department of Finance to begin its cost analysis for the election.

Voters who signed the recall petitions had until June 8 to request their signature’s removal. Forty-three signatures were removed during the removal period, leaving 1,719,900 valid signatures on the petitions, more than the 1,495,709 required to trigger a recall.

Based on the remaining procedural steps required by state law, an election is likely to take place in October or November 2021. Political analysts and legislators have speculated that an election could take place as early as August, while the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials wrote a letter to Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis (D) requesting that a recall not take place before September 14, citing supply chain issues with paper and envelopes given the unknown number of candidates. Kounalakis is the official responsible for setting the date of the recall election.

Newsom was elected as California’s governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was chosen as Davis’ replacement.

A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second would ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election, no majority required. In the 2003 recall of Davis, 135 candidates ran and the winner received 48.58 percent of the vote.



Deadline passes for verification of remaining signatures in Newsom recall

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber (D) had until June 22 to certify whether enough signatures remained on recall petitions to move the recall process against Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) forward. If at least 1,495,709 signatures remain, the recall will proceed to a scheduling and budgeting phase. Supporters turned in more than 1.7 million valid signatures by the March 17 deadline, and signees had until June 8 to request the removal of their signature from the petition.

Newsom was elected as California’s governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was chosen as Davis’ replacement.

A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor. The second would ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election, no majority required. In the 2003 recall of Davis, 135 candidates ran and the winner received 48.58 percent of the vote.



Recall election for metropolitan district board in Colorado to be held June 29

A recall election seeking to remove three members of the Buckhorn Valley Metropolitan District No. 2 board in Colorado is being held on June 29. Members John V. Hill, Anna Maria Ray, and David Garton Jr. are on the ballot.

When listing their reasons, recall supporters said that the district was in payment default for bond debt and that the board “contracted with its own developer-management entity which has failed to satisfactorily maintain the non-potable water system for irrigation.” They also said there were numerous conflicts of interest.

In response to the recall effort, Hill said the Great Recession hit the development hard. He said that the district was in default for bond debt because the development was only half-built. Because of that, property tax revenue to pay off the bond was only half of what it was meant to be and could not cover the bond payments. 

Recall supporters had until Feb. 25 to collect 300 signatures in the district to get the recall on the ballot. They collected 378 signatures.

At the time the recall effort started, the board had four members—Hill, Ray, Garton, and Scott Green—and one vacant seat. Green resigned from the board in February 2021. The remaining board members appointed Erin Gallimore and Nicholas Viau—both members of the recall committee—to the vacant seats.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 231 recall efforts against 289 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

Additional reading:

Ballotpedia’s Mid-Year Recall Report (2021)

Recall campaigns in Colorado

Political recall efforts, 2021

Special district recalls