Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Effort to Recall Local Judge- Just the Facts Ma'am

In an email, the recall proponents have pointed out a couple of inaccuracies in the information that has been provided both to The Union and to the recall proponents by retired judges and two clerk-recorders.

First, the amount of signatures required, which the county elections office provided, is inaccurate. The recall of trial court judges is specifically provided for in Article II of the California Constitution.

Subdivision (b), section 14 of Article II provides that the signatures required for recall of a trial court judge would be 20% of the number of votes for that judge in the most recent general election. When the judge runs unopposed and therefore does not have his/her name on the ballot [Cal. Elec. Code § 8203(a)], the amount of signatures must be 20% of the votes cast within that judicial jurisdiction for the countywide office which had the least number of votes in the most recent general election [Cal. Elec. Code § 11221(c)(1)]. The only countywide office in the most recent general election was the office of Treasurer/Tax Collector in 2010. The total number of votes cast for that office was 38,354.

So the required number of signatures for recall is 7,671, which is 20% of 38,354. This number is over 2,200 votes less than Gregory Diaz told the citizens for recall and The Union.

Although this section of the Constitution defers to any local rule that might differ, but there is no such local rule.

Secondly, Mr. Bollinger (a former clerk-recorder) did not remember correctly from the previous recall.

There is a memorandum from county counsel to Mr. Bollinger which states that a replacement for a recalled trial judge is elected.

A link to the memorandum is here. I have no idea how the memorandum ended up on Humboldt County's website...that could be an interesting story.

Especially in the case of elections, it is important that the facts get out to the electorate in an accurate fashion. Hopefully, our local electeds (former and current) make a better effort to get the facts straight before attempting to influence public opinion.

Incidentally, an exhaustive recall guide is found in Humboldt County here.

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