Spokane County elections workers began checking signatures Monday on petitions calling for a vote on Mayor Jim West’s ouster as supporters of the recall effort and West looked on.
A day of comparing those signatures with the computerized voter registration records showed 1,450, or nearly 78 percent of those checked, were accepted and 251 were rejected. Another 163 signatures were set aside for further checking if they are needed to decide the proposal’s fate.
Elections Manager Paul Brandt said elections workers were able to accept or reject most signatures and addresses in a minute or less. They were finding “nothing unusual” in the stacks of petitions so far, he said, although there was one signature from Lewiston, Idaho.
Only signatures from registered voters who live in the city of Spokane can be counted toward the petition’s goal of 12,567 signatures. Most of the pending signatures seem to be from voters who are on the books but are currently registered outside the city, and thus not eligible to be counted for the recall effort, Brandt said. Some may have moved, and the checking for new registrations and matching addresses will take more time.
“If we need them, we’ll look at them again,” Brandt said.
If the acceptance rate holds, that won’t be necessary, because recall supporters turned in petitions with 17,121 signatures. Elections workers will stop when they reach the number of signatures needed to certify the petitions – or at 4,555 invalid signatures, the number that would make it impossible to hit the certification mark.
A daily total of signatures accepted, rejected and pending will be posted on the elections office Web site at www.spokanecounty.org/elections under the September statistics link.
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