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Friday, September 30, 2022

Political group moves forward on signature authentication

CHICO — The political group Chico Voters announced Thursday that three of its residents signed an early recall petition for Councilor Sean Morgan, who provided declarations to the Chico City Clerk’s office under penalty of perjury.

Morgan’s recall notice was dismissed for the second time on Wednesday because it was one signature short after three signatures were invalid.

“Three of his signatures were rejected by the city clerk, resulting in the dismissal of a Notice of Intent to Recall Counselor Sean Morgan,” the release said. “This action comes after (butte) County Clerk Candance Grubbs told earlier in the day that her agency’s role is simply to determine whether the signature matches the signature on the voter registration form.”

The rejection reduced the recall petition to a signature 19 out of 20 for Morgan.

Chico City Clerk Debbie Presson said she was unsure about the announcements and it is likely that Chico voters will need to go back to the beginning, get all new signatures, and serve Morgan once more.

“We couldn’t accept that because there was nothing in the election code that said we could do that,” Presson said.

Presson said the rejection was due to the three signatures not matching the individuals’ voter registration cards.

“People need to make sure their registration is up to date,” Preson said. “If you’re serious about recalling an officer that citizens hold in office, you need to do it the right way.”

However, the second notice given to Mayor Andrew Coolidge will continue on to the next phase.

Chico Voters received 27 signatures for Coolidge’s recall petition, and even after some were removed by the city to be invalid, the group was still able to get over 20 signatures.

Presson said the next step in recalling the mayor would be Coolidge’s rebuttal, which is due on Tuesday. The description must be 200 words or less and must be filed with the City Clerk’s office for approval.

“The recall petition has to be precise so that people don’t sign something that potentially contains errors,” Presson said.

Presson said accuracy is important because of the gravity of both the election and recall process.

“I love elections because they give people a chance to have their voices heard,” Presson said. “I believe in the importance of these opportunities. But it needs to be done right and I want to protect the integrity of the process.

World Nation News Desk
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