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.
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