-By by Chris Bowers
May 23, 2011- In response to comments and emails I received over the weekend, this morning I did some research to verify that the recall petition circulated by The Committee to Recall Rick Snyder (FireRickSnyder.org) is valid even though Snyder is less than 180 days into his term.
Short answer: yes. Long answer: yes.
Here is a summary of the information I received during a call with the Elections Division of the Michigan Secretary of State's office:
1. Can a recall petition of a statewide official be approved less than 180 days into that official's term?
2. Can such a recall petition, once approved, be circulated less than 180 days into the relevant official's term?
Yes, as long as the signatures are submitted after 180 days had expired.
3. Which county must approve the petition?
The petition must be approved in the county where the official resides, which in this case is Washtenaw. As it happens, this is where The Committee to Recall Rick Snyder had their petition approved. Literally dozens of news stories reported on Washtenaw County approving the petition. For example, CBS Detroit:
A recall petition effort to oust Republican Governor Rick Snyder has cleared a hurdle, and can begin collecting signatures aimed at getting the measure on the ballot, unless the governor files an appeal.
The Washtenaw County Board of Election Commissioners voted 2-1 the petition language, which says Snyder should be recalled for supporting sweeping new powers for emergency managers, including the ability to void labor agreements.
The deadline to appeal the petition passed without Snyder filing one.