Second intent to recall an Alameda councilmember fails

The early stages of a campaign to recall Alameda Councilmember Malia Vella failed Wednesday after its supporters failed to comply with state Election Code, said the city clerk’s office.

The Notice of Intent to Circulate Recall Petition, the first of many steps in actually getting the recall question on the ballot, was rejected by the city clerk because the full addresses of the 33 signatories were not included on the petition.

Last week, the same group attempted a similar petition calling for the recall of Alameda Councilmember Jim Oddie. That petition also failed after the group filed the petition two days after the seven-day deadline.

Because Oddie is up for re-election this fall, a state law prohibits a recall of an elected officials within six months of the end of the current term. For Oddie that was June 18. Therefore, the group cannot launch another recall petition.

But for Vella, because she is not up for re-election until 2020, the group can still make repeated attempts at meeting the requirements for moving along the recall process.

The setback, however, pushes ahead an already tight timeline for recall proponents to get the recall question on the November ballot. The timeline also does not include the campaign’s most time-consuming task–collecting 9,421 valid signatures to qualify for any ballot.

A more likely timeline, if the entire petition process is completed, would be to hold a special election sometime in 2019. Doing so, however, would be expensive. Potentially in the range of $300,000 to $400,000. A price tag that would likely give opponents of a recall strong argument in favor of Vella.

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