The effort to recall Jack Evans reached a significant milestone yesterday: it turned in roughly 5,600 signatures to the Board of Elections.
This does not mean that Evans is out of a job, yet at least. The activists seeking his ouster needed to submit petitions signed by at least 10 percent of the Ward 2 registered population. That is approximately 5,000 people. But there’s a big difference between submitting signatures and submitting valid signatures. Some number of the signatures submitted will surely turn out to be from people not actually registered in Ward 2. Those signatures will be ignored. With a cushion of only 600 or so, there’s a fairly decent chance enough signatures will be successfully challenged by Evans and the recall effort will end there.
But if enough valid signatures remain, the Board of Elections will have about three months to hold the recall election. That vote would be simply is Evans recalled or not. If the voters decide to recall him in that vote, then he is out of a job. The Board of Elections then has about six months to hold an election for his replacement. But, oh hey, Evans would be allowed to run in that election!
The Board of Elections can choose to hold that election to coincide with the Democratic primary. Thus you’d be asked to vote for who should be Ward 2 councilmember immediately, and also who should be on the Democratic ticket for the November general election. It would be all a bit confusing.
As GM mentioned, the safe bet right now is that the recall effort didn’t submit enough signatures. It’s pretty impressive they submitted as many as they did in such a short time. And it’s fair to point out that the requirement to submit ten percent of registered voters is made unfair by the fact that the voting rolls are likely bloated by many people who no longer live in Ward 2 (or even DC at all). But as it stands, it seems more likely that Evans will be Ward 2 Councilmember until at least January 2021 or the day he resigns.