Election rejection

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Group encourages petition ‘rejects’ to clear up registration conflicts

COEUR d’ALENE — Recall organizer Frank Orzell isn’t done after all.

Relax: He’s just asking the newspaper to perform a public service.

Orzell compiled a list from Kootenai County Elections Department data of nearly 370 people who signed recall petitions against four city incumbents, but whose signatures were thrown out because of various registration issues.

The list doesn’t include any signers who were rejected because they were not qualified Coeur d’Alene voters, which was a requirement of the recall petition drive. It essentially identifies voters whose registration information on the petition form isn’t consistent with the information on the voter information system (ISVRS) maintained by the Secretary of State.

“They show up on the reject list,” Orzell said. “That’s it.”

To become properly registered, they likely could fix their various registration snafus by going to the elections department and making sure all their information is current.

The petition drive to prompt a recall election on four incumbents fell between 185-250 certified signatures short of the 4,311 signatures threshold to get the measure on a ballot. RecallCdA turned in around 5,300 signatures on each on the petitions for City Council members Mike Kennedy, Woody McEvers, Deanna Goodlander and Mayor Sandi Bloem.

Signers on Orzell’s list who update their voter registration won’t affect the recall drive, which is over, but they will clear the way for future voting issues.

Orzell’s request: “Go to the elections office and become certified,” he said.

Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes said generally, the majority of people whose signatures didn’t count don’t live in the city limits.

Orzell’s list doesn’t include those names, he said — only ones who could likely update their information at the elections office, 1808 N. 3rd Street in Coeur d’Alene.

Hayes said he has contacted the Secretary of State’s Office to put together a pamphlet explaining the process behind petition drives to help explain it to signature gatherers and other non-governmental people who otherwise might not know the ins-and-outs of Idaho election laws.

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