Meekhof recall drive is a go

Mark Brooky • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:01 AM

This was the second attempt by Jason Collins to get petition language approved to recall Meekhof, R-West Olive. The first attempt was rejected by the county’s Election Commission in late June.

To get on the Nov. 8 election ballot, the petitions must be submitted and verified by Aug. 5, Ottawa County Elections Coordinator Justin Roebuck said. Otherwise, the petitioners have six months to collect the required signatures (one-fourth of the voter turnout in the last election for governor) and — if successful — the question would be placed on the ballot of the next scheduled election.

“By law, recall petition language expires 180 days after it is approved by the Election Commission,” Roebuck explained. “However, no signature on the petition can be older than 90 days. So essentially, the petition circulators have a 90-day window in the next 180 days to collect 24,852 valid signatures.”

The approved petition language, or the “reason” for the recall, was similar but condensed from a request Collins filed June 7 and rejected by the commission at a hearing on June 21. The commission said at the June hearing that the language was unclear.

Collins, 34, said he was “driven by principle” to initiate the recall drive, with several specific objections to the way Michigan is currently being governed. Collins said those objections include: replacing middle-income jobs with a greater number of lower-income jobs as a way “to reinvent Michigan,” government should not have the power to take away the right to choose our elected officials, tax breaks to spur job growth should be given to everyone and not just to corporations and the wealthy, and the Michigan Business Tax should not have been replaced by tax increases to pensioners and the working poor.

Bob DeVries, Meekhof’s chief of staff, said Saturday their position on the planned recall has not changed from when Collins filed the first request.

“If they can manage to get the 24,000 or so signatures, then we’ll have an election,” DeVries said. “It’s something we’re prepared to do if they get to that point.”

More details on this story will be published in today's Tribune.

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