Petition to recall Antioch mayor begun online, not how it’s actually done

Screenshot of petition to recall Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe on as of Friday, March 5, 2021.

By Allen Payton

Announcement of the recall petition shared on the Antioch Backs the Blue Facebook page on Wed., March 3, 2021.

In a post on the page of the Antioch Backs the Blue Facebook group on Wed., March 3, a question was asked if people had seen an online petition entitled Recall Lamar Thorpe Antioch ca city mayor. That was begun on Tuesday, March 2 on the website by an Andrew McKissick and shows a location of Pittsburg, CA. As of Friday, March 5, it shows there have been 597 people that had added their names, with a goal of reaching 1,000. The Facebook post shows that only 299 signatures were needed.

Several people offered their comments of why they’re supporting the online petition, including Roxana Routa who wrote, “In the 3 years we have lived in Antioch I have NEVER seen as many shootings in 1 week, never before, not until this guy took office!” Mindy Tanada who wrote, “The lack of support for law enforcement, increased crime, and unprofessional behaviors in our local government are issues being ignored by the current mayor.”  Retired Antioch Police Officer Mike Schneider added his reason for supporting the online petition writing, “His agenda will destroy the city.”

However, an online petition to recall an elected official in California, no matter how many people support it, is not how the process is actually done. Plus, it allows anyone anywhere to sign the petition. Only those who live within a district and are registered to vote can gather signatures for and/or sign a recall petition. Furthermore, according to the California Secretary of State’s guide to Procedures for Recalling State and Local Officials, “If an officer of a city, county, school district, county board of education, or resident voting district is sought to be recalled, the number of signatures must be equal in number to not less than the following percent of registered voters in the electoral jurisdiction: (a) Thirty percent (30%) if the registration is less than 1,000. (b) Twenty-five percent (25%) if the registration is less than 10,000 but at least 1,000. (c) Twenty percent (20%) if the registration is less than 50,000 but at least 10,000. (d) Fifteen percent (15%) if the registration is less than 100,000 but at least 50,000. (e) Ten percent (10%) if the registration is 100,000 or above”.

According to the Contra Costa Elections Division report, as of Election Day Nov. 3, 2020, there were 62,394 registered voters in Antioch. So, petitioners would have to gather the signatures of approximately 9,400 registered voters in the City to force a recall of the mayor or any other citywide official to the ballot. Petitioners would have 160 days to gather the needed number of signatures.

For the city council members, as of Nov. 3 in District 1 there were 12,637 registered voters; in District 2 there were 14,921; in District 3 there were 18,349 and in District 4 there were 16,487 registered voters. Petitioners would need signatures from 20% of the registered voters in each of the districts to force a recall election to the ballot. Petitioners would have 120 days to gather the needed signatures in each of the council districts.

Should a recall effort be successful in gathering the necessary signatures, following the verification of signatures by the City Clerk, the city council would have 14 days to call an election and “The election shall be held not less than 88 nor more than 125 days after” that.

An effort has been made to reach McKissick to ask his reasons for starting the online petition. In addition, efforts to reach Thorpe for his response were unsuccessful prior to publication time.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

the attachments to this post:

Petition announcement in FB group 3-3-21

Recall Lamar Thorpe petition on 3-5-21

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