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King County Elections puts kink in Sawant campaign gambit to collect signatures and force November recall vote — UPDATE

Kshama Sawant can, indeed, sign the petition for her own recall and her supporters can gather more signatures in a strategic push to force a vote on November’s General Election ballot — but they’ll need to work with the Recall Sawant campaign to make it happen.

King County Elections has weighed in after a complaint letter from the recall backers over the unusual gambit from the Kshama Solidarity campaign to begin collecting signatures to petition for the very recall they are fighting against.

“We have received this letter from the Recall Sawant campaign and have responded to them confirming that the RCW only allows for the person, committee, or organization demanding the recall to submit the signature pages to our office,” a King County Elections spokesperson tells CHS.

There are other petition requirements to meet but the elections spokesperson said Recall Sawant’s other complaint about “photocopied” version of the petition was not an issue. The bigger issue, King County Election says, is for the two camps to work together to submit any gathered signatures. Recall Sawant is in control of what will be formally submitted.

“No special paper is required by us but it’s important to note that any signatures collected do have to be turned over to the Recall campaign to submit to us,” the spokesperson said. “We cannot accept petition pages from anyone else. The Solidarity campaign has been informed of this requirement.”

CHS has asked Kshama Solidarity if it plans to continue its drive to collect signatures and Recall Sawant if it will work with the group to submit the names along with its copies of the petition. We’re waiting to hear back from both campaigns. The Sawant supporters could continue to collect signatures using the recall campaign’s by-mail petitions distributed in the tens of thousands as the signature gathering effort began earlier this year.

Earlier this month, Recall Sawant campaign manager Henry Bridger announced the signature collecting effort was moving into its final stage for a push to put the recall vote on the November General Election ballot with around 9,000 of the needed 10,739 signatures collected. Kshama Solidarity spokesperson Bryan Koulouris told CHS the idea around forcing a November vote had been on the table but became “a really serious idea” when the recall campaign announced it was close.

Koulouris said his campaign believes the Recall Sawant camp would prefer a special election this winter over a high turnout general election vote. “We’re not convinced they’re moving for November,” he said. “Don’t trust they want high voter turnout. They have more in common with the Republicans and repression of votes.”

UPDATE: The Kshama Solidarity campaign say it is planning to continue gathering signature gathering.

“The information from King County Elections is not news to us,” a spokesperson writes. “We were well aware at the time of our press conference that the Recall Campaign is solely responsible for turning in the petitions. The question is whether they will actually submit them, or whether they prefer voter suppression.”

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concerned seattlite
concerned seattlite
14 days ago

Wow. That’s crazy. If people are signing the recall, their voices should be heard regardless of who the signature gatherer is….

Edward
Edward
14 days ago

It never made any sense to me. If anyone could submit signatures for any ballot measure, it seems like it would be far too easy to sabotage with fake signatures?

CH Resident
CH Resident
14 days ago

It doesn’t say anywhere that they wouldn’t be heard. It says only the recall campaign can submit the signatures. It’s important to read these things carefully to avoid misconceptions.

Edward Hanes
Edward Hanes
14 days ago
Reply to  CH Resident

Reading comprehension is the worst diagnostic of a person’s education

RentersRUs
RentersRUs
14 days ago
Reply to  CH Resident

And what if they _dont_ submit the gathered signatures? Someone comes to your door, you sign, and then they don’t turn it in. Someone comes later from the actual recall campaign, and you say you’ve already signed. Convenient.

dan
dan
14 days ago
Reply to  RentersRUs

Exactly!

Cd resident
Cd resident
14 days ago
Reply to  RentersRUs

Outrageous that you think sawant would use such tactics, she and her campaign have been nothing but above board and honest. Hell the name sawant is basically synonymous with integrity.

CH Resident
CH Resident
14 days ago
Reply to  RentersRUs

Your beef would then be with the solidarity campaign. There would be no confusion if they hadn’t done what they are doing, and I imagine that they know that. It’s ironic to me as they keep stating how beloved she is and how everyone wants to keep her in office, but their actions indicate an underlying fear. They can say it’s because it’s ‘right wing attack’, but a majority of the recall money is from in-district as opposed to the solidarity funding. It make me really wonder who is being influenced by outsiders.

RecallSawant
RecallSawant
9 days ago
Reply to  CH Resident

Amen! It’s crazy that anyone thinks anything different. Kshama is powerful

Nina S
Nina S
14 days ago
Reply to  RentersRUs

That was my first thought, too.

JCW
JCW
14 days ago
Reply to  RentersRUs

Bingo. This is nothing but an effort by the Sawant cabal to deter late-signing recall supporters from adding their name to the list. Not surprising, and predictably pathetic.

RWK
RWK
14 days ago

The effort by Sawant and her supporters to gather signatures is a cynical and sleazy political move. They should be ashamed, but I’m sure they are not, because anything that furthers the socialist movement is OK with them.

Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
13 days ago
Reply to  RWK

They should be ashamed

Why? The recall movement should be ashamed of themselves. They have failed to put up a viable candidate to beat her again and again, which honestly shouldn’t be very difficult, so they are opting to go the recall route. Hell, all Orion had to do was reject Amazon’s money and he’d be the District 3 Councilmember.

The recall movement should put their money where their mouth is; if they are serious about recalling her, they’ll accept the signatures.

CKc
CKc
12 days ago
Reply to  RWK

It’s not socialism though, they’re pushing for a classless society, which is the ideal of Marxism; if I see my neighbor has more baubles than me, I get jealous and am unhappy. If my neighbor has a house fire and loses all his baubles, then I’m happy. It’s the opposite of ferry tales warning about jealous and greedy people ending up with nothing, just at the state level.

Mindy
Mindy
14 days ago

Sawant first tells her followers stop the right wing recall. Now she says sign the recall. It seems she expects her admirers to blindly follow her commands. Most probably will.

Jules James
Jules James
14 days ago

Sure would like to see the petition with Sawant’s name on it. Has she turned it in to the Recall committee? Or is she having problems getting the whole page signed in? Can’t think of any other reason for her to withhold that page from the committee.

CKathes
CKathes
14 days ago

I am not a fan of Sawant, but I do not support recalling her because (1) I think her relatively trivial misdeeds don’t warrant it, and (2) if successful it risks normalizing recall campaigns as a tactic to be used routinely, for the flimsiest of reasons, by the losing side in any given election. That said, I am disappointed that she now appears to be playing the same sort of bad-faith games with the process that her opponents are. It may well prove to be a shrewd political move (I’m sure the consultant who dreamed it up is very proud of themself), but the implications it holds for the future of civil political discourse and debate are not pleasant to contemplate.

Ducking
Ducking
12 days ago
Reply to  CKathes

I voted for her since Amazon didn’t like her, which in retrospect I should have read something about her. I didn’t realize just how frivolous her ideas were.The thing that tips me to recall is her disclose of the mayor’s home address to protesters. We have politics as an alternative to thugs for a reason.

Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
13 days ago

One entity having complete control over the fate of a recall election for a politician seems extremely undemocratic. Not to mention, all a sketchy politician needs to do is start their own recall under a sham entity and then refuse to submit signatures at the last second.

For the initiative process, it might make sense, but not for politicians. I think Sawant will be able to spin this in her favor and by no fault to the recall campaign in this particular case.

I’m going to need some more popcorn!