The effort to recall Little Rock City Director Erma Fingers Hendrix is officially a dead issue. City Attorney Tom Carpenter said that a make-or-break second effort to gather the required signatures fell short by 593. To successfully petition for a recall election would have required 1,963 signatures.
When originally submitted to City Clerk Nancy Wood on March 20 by the group Ward One We Care Citizens For Progress, led by Kathy Wells, the petition drive fell short by 872 names.
“Nancy will provide that information to the Board of Directors, and that’s essentially it,” Carpenter said. “They got more than enough names on petitions, but they didn’t have enough verifiable names. That’s what stopped them.”
UPDATE: Ward One We Care isn't happy.
LETTER FROM WARD ONE WE CARE CITIZENS FOR PROGRESS
Dear Mayor Stodola and City Directors,
City Attorney Tom Carpenter told City Clerk Nancy Wood she found insufficient signatures to hold a special election on the recall of Ward One Director Erma Hendrix. We challenge the process by which this review was
We began by asking city officials what guidelines to follow under election laws, to assure we acted correctly and effectively. To this day, no written guidelines have been provided. We relied on phone calls from Mr. Carpenter, which led us to come up short.
Verbal information has proved lacking, and lacking in important, even critical, details. Use of a birthdate as an identifier for a voter was never told to us by city officials; months into the campaign, others informed us of this, and we changed our petition form accordingly. We protest. We ask that you remedy this, for use of future campaigns by voters.
We also protest Mr. Carpenter’s unwarranted interference in the democratic process - blocking our observing staff check signatures at the office of the Pulaski County Circuit Clerk. We asked to do this, and Ms. Wood agreed.
When we called a second time, to check on a session, we were told Mr. Carpenter had ruled out any observers.
When we spoke with Circuit Clerk Pat O’Brien, he welcomed us, said there was plenty of room, and that he felt an obligation to conduct public business in public. We availed ourselves of that right. Mr. Carpenter gets a demerit.
We look forward to your response, and to written guidelines on how petition signatures are to be validated.
O.O. Robinson Kathy Wells