Petition to remove Austin council member deemed invalid

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A recall petition to remove Austin City Council member Ann Kitchen has been deemed invalid by the city clerk.

A memorandum issued Friday indicates the petition failed to submit properly signed affidavits. An affidavit is defined as “written or printed declaration or statement of facts, made voluntarily, and confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the party making it, taken before an officer having authority to administer such oath.”

According to the clerk’s report, the petition had 989 pages, and the City Clerk’s office stamped 979 pages with a unique number. Six pages were submitted without any signatures and there were four pages (with a total of 11 signatures) not stamped because they didn’t have signed affidavits.

The clerk did say the petition to provide sufficient signatures of at least 10 percent of the qualified voters from Kitchen’s District 5. Of the 5,290 signatures examines, 4,935 were deemed to be valid signatures and 355 were deemed to be invalid (265 were disqualified as being duplicate signatures of people who signed the petition more than once).

The petition also met the requirement of “a general statement of the grounds for which removal is sought.”

The political action committee Austin4All submitted the petition on Feb. 19 and the clerk had 20 days to ensure that the petition complies with the requirements of the Charter. The PAC wanted to recall Kitchen because of her support for fingerprint checks for Uber and Lyft drivers. If the petition had been validated Kitchen would have had five days to resign or face a recall election.

In response to the petition’s failure, Council Member Kitchen said, “It should come as no surprise that Austin4All did not follow the law and failed to swear to the truth of their petitions.” To read her statement in full, click here.

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