Last week, King County Elections (KCE) certified the recall petition filed earlier this year against Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. 10,687 valid signatures from Seattle City Council District 3 registered voters were required to send the recall issue to voters. Petitioners submitted over 16,000 signatures to be verified in early September.
KCE follows a comprehensive verification process that includes researching each petition signer to ensure they are registered to vote in the district and that the signature on the petition matches the signature on the voter’s registration file. Over 11,000 signatures were accepted through the verification process.
Upon certification of the recall petition, state law mandates a recall election be held within 45 to 90 days. With November General election ballots sent to overseas and service voters on September 17 and the February Special election falling outside of the mandated date range, KCE has set an election date of Tuesday, December 7, 2021. Ballots will be mailed to Seattle City Council District 3 voters on November 17 and should begin to arrive in mailboxes in the days following.
“A number of factors influenced our decision to set the recall election on December 7. With both the November General and February Special elections being outside of the realm of possibility, we looked at dates that would reduce overlap between elections for our voters and sought to avoid the busy December holiday season as much as possible,” stated Julie Wise, King County Director of Elections. “There’s no perfect date to schedule an election but our hope is that voters will show up, turn out, and use their voice in this election just like any other.”
The recall will be the only question in front of voters on the December 7 ballot and ballot itself will feature both the charges against Councilmember Sawant and her response to them. Voters will then be asked to vote YES or NO.
Unlike recent recall attempts in other states, voters do not choose a replacement candidate. Instead, Washington State law provides that the seat will be vacated and filled as any other vacancy, through an appointment process.