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Clerk: Recall petitions for McLean, Sánchez miss deadline for November, could appear on March ballot

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Posted at 3:20 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 12:58:50-04

This article was originally published by Don Day in BoiseDev.com.

The efforts to recall Boise Mayor Lauren McLean and city council Member Lisa Sánchez won’t appear on the November ballot.

Now, the earliest any recall votes could appear on the ballot if they gather enough signatures is the second week of March 2021.

Organizers of the two efforts had until Friday to turn in signatures to the Boise City Clerk’s office in order to meet deadlines to appear on the ballot in November, according to Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane. (The petitions first go to the city clerk before moving to the county clerk).

“I believe it is now too late to complete the process in time for November Election,” McGrane told BoiseDev.

[Petition to recall Lauren McLean filed. Q&A on what happens next]

McGrane said a mix of state and federal laws drives the August 28th deadline. Ballots must be printed by September 21st according to federal law. That’s also the final deadline for the recall petitions to be turned in.

But because state law requires 15 business days to verify the validity of signatures, and five days after that for a recalled official to choose to resign – it means last Friday was the last day the petitions could be filed in order to appear on the November ballot.

Recall organizer Joe Filicetti, who did not reply to our request for comment Monday morning, called after the publication of this story to say recall organizers did not intend to have the petitions on the ballot in November.

March the next possibility

If recall organizers turn in petitions by a deadline this fall(see below), and if they include the 26,108 valid required signatures – the recall would go up for voters in March.

The March election, if held, is typically a low turnout event.

If the recall makes it to the ballot, two things must both happen to remove McLean or Sánchez from office.

  1. More people must vote to recall than vote to keep the official in office.
  2. More people must vote to recall than voted for the official in the last general election.
    • For McLean, that number is 23,670 votes. For Sánchez, it’s 10,397.

If fewer voters than those numbers vote to remove either politician from office — or more people vote to keep them in office, the recall will fail.

If the recall against McLean succeeds, the city council would select her successor from its members. For a Sánchez recall, the mayor would choose the successor.

Update: A previous version of this story said the deadline for signatures to be filed was September 21, based on information from the Ada County Clerk. However, recall organizers provided us with letters they say came from the city, listing the final deadline as September 30th for the McLean petition and October 5 for the Sánchez petition. The Boise City Clerk would not verify the authenticity of the letters, nor would a rep answer a question about the deadlines. The rep instead pointed us to file a public records request, which we’ve done and will update this story when the city fulfills the request.