Signature Requirement Incorrect for Sherwood Recall

Anna Lee, the chairperson of the “Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee” (RCGS), submitted completed petition sheets to the Glendale City Clerk on Friday, December 19.

RCGS paid Petition Partners about $1 of Gila River Indian Community funds per signature, depending on the math and the dubious correctness of the campaign finance reports.

We’ll feature more wacky math tomorrow.

How many signatures did RCGS need to initiate the recall process?

Glendale CM Gary Sherwood

Glendale CM Gary Sherwood

Whoops

On Wednesday, December 17, Glendale City Clerk Pam Hanna informed Glendale City Hall (personally, via email, and via telephone) the calculation used to determine the correct number of signatures was incorrect.

The original number used (3,851) distributed to the RCGS committee and the City Council was incorrect because it was twenty five percent of the total number of votes cast in Councilman Sherwood’s Sahuaro District.

The base number should have been the total votes cast for councilmember, eliminating the voters that didn’t bother to vote for their City Council representative.

Calculators Are Cool

Ms. Hanna reduced the number from 3,851 to 2,752, with a new base number of the total votes cast for Sherwood and for Diane Douglas. That’s a significant error, 28.538042066995583 percent.

Despite the correction, Ms. Hanna is wrong again.

The Correct Number – A Sure Bet

The total votes cast for councilmember in Sahuaro district:

  • Gary Sherwood 5,651
  • Diane Douglas 5,355
  • Write in candidates 41

Add those numbers, the correct base number of votes is 11,047.

Pulling out the calculator, twenty five percent of 11,047 is 2,761.75.

Round the number up to the nearest whole vote.

The correct number of signatures needed is 2,762.

Somebody Read The Rules, Please?

The Arizona Secretary of State produced a handbook for referendums and recalls that is excellent. We have used the contents in that handbook to learn about how badly referendum and recall petition gatherers are at following the rules.

On page 22 (PDF page 24) of the handbook

Number of Required Signatures [Ariz. Const. Article VIII, Pt. 1 § 1 & A.R.S. § 19-201(A)]
The number of signatures required for recalling an elected official is based on the number of votes cast at the preceding election for all the candidates for the office held by the officer, even if the officer was not elected at that election. If there is more than one office being filled at that election, the number of votes cast is then divided by that number. The number is then multiplied by 25%.

To be sure the requirements are clear, the Secretary of State provides a couple examples on the next page that clearly show the votes for write in candidates should be included in the base total before multiplying by twenty five percent.

Recall of State Mine Inspector, Fred Flintstone:
 CANDIDATE’S NAME TOTAL                 VOTES CAST
 Scooby Doo 90,000
 Betty Boop 10,000
 Fred Flintstone 100,000
 Peter Pan 49,500
 Bob Cat (Write In) 62
 TOTAL VOTES CAST 249,562
 Multiplied by 25% 62,390.5
Rounded up 62,391

The committee would need to collect a minimum of 62,391 valid signatures to recall Fred Flinstone.

In this case, total votes cast is of 11,047, Multiplied by 25% (.25) is 2761.75. Rounded up is 2,762.

The number is 2,762.

More soon on the other factors afoot in this case, including other wacky numbers.

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