City staff says petition to recall Bismarck mayor short
The petitioners needed 1,898 valid signatures for the recall election to take place. City Administrator Keith Hunke said, of the 2,405 signatures submitted, 305 signatures were disqualified for being from signers outside city limits, 198 signatures were invalid because they were collected by an unqualified circulator, 29 were duplications or ineligible voters and 136 were deemed illegible or incomplete.
Hunke said, if petitioners wish to appeal his office's findings, they can file a challenge in district court.
Paul Maloney, one of the petition circulators, said he's disappointed but not surprised by the number of signatures declared invalid.
"Unfortunately, this is proof of the reason why we want to recall," said Maloney, who says organizers do have some questions and have been in contact with lawyers. "The circulator should not be what invalidates. How would you feel if you signed a petition and your signature was thrown out on a technicality?"