That question will be decided by New Jersey’s highest court - which heard oral arguments in the case Tuesday - and many think the issue will eventually go to the United States Supreme Court.
Several years ago while myself and several other Wisconsin activists were working on the recall of a City of Milwaukee Alderman, the recall effort was going on during a regularly scheduled election so we told the group collecting signatures to stand just outside of the polling locations and approach the voters as they were going in to vote. This seemed like a simple and easy way to gather signatures because all of those going in to vote were residents of the district of the alderman that we were attempting to recall.
The Saginaw News has a piece in which Saginaw Valley State University political science professor Robert W. Lane and several Saginaw-area officials claim Michiganders’ ability to recall elected officials is too powerful and should be weakened.
United States District Court Judge Robert Holmes Bell has made Michigan the ninth state to see a requirement that campaign workers who circulate petitions be residents of the state struck down. In 2008 federal appeals courts struck down residency requirements in Ohio, Arizona and Oklahoma. Residency requirements of some kind have previously been ruled unconstitutional in California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, and New York.
As initiative proponents collect signatures for next year’s ballot, and the Citizens in Charge Foundation staff continues to dig out from last weekend’s snow storm, petition rights activists around the country are getting ready for the restrictions on the initiative and referendum process that will be proposed in upcoming state legislative sessions.
We asked attendees what they thought about the initiative, referendum and recall process.
Last Sunday the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran an editorial blatantly attacking the citizens and their powers of local direct initiative and recall. My response, which is copied below to the ridiculous claims of the Journal-Sentinel were published in today’s edition.
Recalls, Direct Legislation Are Vital
Last Saturday tens of thousands of Americans from every part of the country gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC to protest recent and proposed massve increases in the power of the federal government. Among those who came to Washington to make their voices heard were Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians and folks from all other political stripes.
Nearly twice as many efforts to recall public officials are underway this year than last, according to Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. In his daily Common Sense commentary, Paul points out several of the recall efforts from around the country, many of which have been mentioned on this site.
Signatures on petitions to recall the city mayor and one council member are being reviewed by elections officials today in Cap May Court House. Recall supporters are targeting the officials in response recent and proposed tax increases.