ANCHORAGE–The Recall Dunleavy campaign turned in its application to the Division of Elections today, delivering nearly twice as many signatures than are needed for this stage of the recall process.
The group announced it had submitted 49,006 signatures today, far surpassing the 28,501-signature threshold required to submit a recall application targeting the governor for a recall. The recall seeks to remove Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy from office less than a year after the election.
“This is a day I’m proud to be an Alaskan,” said Recall Dunleavy co-chair Vic Fischer, who is Alaska’s last living member of the state’s constitutional convention. “There has been the most phenomenal outpouring of citizenship that I’ve seen in Alaska since we became a state many years ago. I’m just the oldest guy standing, but I can tell you that what we have accomplished—what you have accomplished, what people throughout this state have done—is coming together with one voice, one signature at a time, dozens of signatures, hundreds of signatures to get rid of the dark cloud that has descended over Alaska.”
Other speakers reflected on the effort it’s taken from scores of volunteers in dozens of communities throughout the state to collect this many signature before the group marched from the CIRI Alaska Native Corporation parking lot to the Division of Elections.
There were no counter protests.
Fischer personally submitted the application to the Division of Elections as a crowd of supporters and media members crowded into the office.
“It’s a great day to be an Alaskan,” said Meda DeWitt, the chair of the Recall Dunleavy campaign.
“It’s a fabulous day to be an Alaskan,” added Erin Jackson, a volunteer coordinator who was one of two protestors to unfurl a “Recall Dunleavy” banner in front of Dunleavy at an Americans for Prosperity-hosted event in March.
Once the application was formally turned in, the supporters of the effort sang “Alaska’s Flag.”
The group began collecting signatures in early August, gathering more than 10,000 signatures in the first day of the campaign during events held around the state. The group reported surpassing the 28,501-signature mark by the campaign’s second week but continued to collect through the end of August in order to build a buffer to ensure enough eligible voters signed the petitions.
If the application is approved, the group will need to start the signature gathering process anew and collect 71,252 signatures in order to call the special election.
The process now turns to the Division of Elections, which will review the application to ensure it has enough signatures and that the grounds of recall meet the legal basis in state law. There’s no timeline for this process, which includes input from the Department of Law and Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, but the state says it has requested this process be completed in the next 60 days.
It’s likely that whatever the outcome of that decision, the matter will likely be challenged in court.
“If they give us a hard time, we’ll see them in superior court,” Fischer said after submitting the application. “We will be either cleared by the Division of Elections or by the court to proceed with getting the next 70-plus thousand signatures, which judging by how it’s gone so far will not be a problem.”