Friday, May 20, 2011

Seriously, Arizona Elections Director Amy Bjelland? Seriously?

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2011 at 3:00 PM

It's hard to say whether the Russell Pearce recall was going to work or not, but at least, I'd like to see it actually come to a vote before Pearce gets another session to reign destruction on the state. Well, because Arizona Elections Director Amy Bjelland made a tiny mistake regarding the rules for recall, if the movement does get enough signatures, there won't likely be a vote until March:

Arizona's elections director said she inadvertently gave an incorrect timetable to the organizers of a drive to recall controversial Senate President Russell Pearce, forcing a change in strategy in the historic recall effort.

Elections Director Amy Bjelland said she initially told recall organizer Randy Parraz that if he filed his signatures by May 25, there would be enough time to verify them and schedule a November election.

But Bjelland since has notified Parraz that Gov. Jan Brewer has 15 days to officially call an election if the signatures check out, not five. The difference of 10 days in the recall timetable means Citizens for a Better Arizona already has missed the actual deadline, May 10, to turn in the signatures for a November election and can only hope for a March 13, 2012, election.

A March recall election would fall midway through the next legislative term. Parraz and the organizers were hoping for a November election, which, if successful, would force Pearce out before the next session convenes.

"I was not factoring in the governor's 15 days," Bjelland said. "It is what it is. I felt terrible about it."

Now, according to the article, those seeking a recall might not have the signatures ready on time anyway and some responsibility should fall on the organizers, who apparently did read the rules for themselves, but it's definitely a little distressing that the state's election director can't be bothered to make sure she knows what she's talking about before handing out deadlines.

[HT: Blog for Arizona]

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