Organizers say campaign has enough signatures to move forward in Dunleavy recall process
The "Recall Dunleavy" campaign claims to have gathered over 29,000 signatures from Alaskans who want to get Gov. Mike Dunleavy out of office — enough for them to move forward in the recall process.
Signature gathering efforts have been going on across the state. Aaron Welterlen, the lead organizer for the campaign in Fairbanks, said more than 5,000 registered voters in the city turned out to sign the campaign's petitions in its second week.
The 29,577 signatures gathered is more than enough for a successful petition application, which requires at least 28,501 registered voter signatures for the Division of Elections.
"Recall Dunleavy’s success is rooted in Alaskans standing up for their families, friends, community members, and the future of our state,” said Meda DeWitt, Chair of Recall Dunleavy in an emailed statement.
Once those signatures get certified for a petition, the recall campaign must then collect 71,252 signatures, reflecting 25% of the 2018 voter turnout.
The division of elections director reviews applications, then either certifies petitions or notifies the recall committee on the grounds for refusal. If the elections office deems the second step legal, an election would be called within 60 to 90 days.
According to election laws, petitioners must meet one of the following legal grounds for a recall: lack of fitness; incompetence; neglecting duties; corruption. The campaign drafted a 200-word grounds for recall statement, citing neglect of duties, incompetence and lack of fitness — but not corruption.
Dunleavy supporters call the endeavor a waste of time and resources, adding the governor's only been in office for eight months, which is not nearly enough time for his initiatives to take hold. Even as some Dunleavy voters have regrets, his staunchest supporters remain vocal in backing the first-term governor.
The campaign says they will continue collecting signatures through the end of the State Fair to "compensate for signatures that may be disqualified and to allow Alaskans who want to be part of this movement to make a statement to [the governor]."
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