The language of the recall notice is similar to notices sent to municipal clerks in other parts of the state, said Bob DeVries, Meekhof’s chief of staff — and “it is clear there are some people working together.” However, there have been news reports that the recall effort is not officially tied to the Democratic Party, DeVries added.
By state law, the person submitting a recall petition must be a qualified voter in the district of the legislator that he or she wants to recall, Roebuck said.
Roebuck said his office is required to schedule a clarity hearing for between 10 and 20 days of receiving such a recall notice. The hearing for Collins’ request has been scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday, June 21, at the Ottawa County Fillmore Complex, Conference Room F.
Collins, 30, is a math and English teacher in Newaygo County. He declined Thursday to explain why he filed the petition "until after the hearing."
At the hearing, a panel will determine if the recall language is clear and can be certified. Should it be certified, the person filing the notice has 180 days to collect the required valid signatures — in this case, 25 percent of the total voter turnout for the last governor’s election, which was November 2010. Roebuck said that equates to about 24,000 signatures, and the date of any of the signatures cannot be older than 90 days when the petition packet is turned into the elections office.
“Seems like a pretty daunting task to me,” DeVries said.
Should the petition be valid, Roebuck said a countywide recall election will be scheduled for the next regular election date.
More details on this story will be published in Friday's Tribune.