Alaskans around the state continued to sign petitions and collect signatures through the end of Labor Day (Monday) as the first stage in an effort to recall Governor Mike Dunleavy drew near its close.
“In Nome, we have collected 345 signatures.”
That’s Jessica Farley, a research analyst, entrepreneur, and Nome resident. She volunteered locally to gather signatures in support of the recall effort. To put Farley’s numbers in context: 861 people voted in Nome in the 2018 general election. While there is no way to confirm how many of these voters overlap with those supporting recall, the 345 signatures Farley says she’s collected amount to 40% of the number of 2018 voters — or about a tenth of the Nome population in total.
“The statewide initiative, they’re still collecting signatures through the end of the (Alaska state) fair, even though only 28,501 signatures were needed.”
Those are the signatures needed for part one of the process: the application to recall the Governor. They still need to be certified by the Division of Elections.
The application is reviewed by the Director of the Division of Elections and must also include 200 words written on why the elected official is being recalled. Reasons for recall that can be stated on the application are: 1) lack of fitness, 2) incompetence, 3) neglect of duties, or 4) corruption.
The “Recall Dunleavy” organization has said in press releases that they’re collecting extra signatures in case some are disqualified as ineligible voters or double signatures. In an August 22 press release, the group claimed to have over 36,000 signatures. The campaign to recall Gov. Dunleavy began on August 1, amid public outcry over the governor’s broad line-item vetoes to the state budget.
For now, Farley is taking a short break from collecting signatures in Nome as the campaign gets ready for the second part: the petition phase.
“Our state is going to need 72,000 signatures to move forward with the recall election… when the petition booklets come out from the department of elections, we’re going to be doing a lot in Nome and in the surrounding area to gather signatures.”
Farley’s goal is to get 2,000 signatures in Nome and the surrounding area for the petition phase.
Image at top: Benjamin Farley and EJ Rochon stand outside Old St. Joe’s meeting hall in Nome. Photo: Jessica Farley, used with permission.