ESCANABA - The Delta County Election Commission determined Thursday that two petitions to recall State Sen. Tom Casperson were deemed clear enough to move forward in the recall process.
The commission, comprised of County Clerk Nancy Kolich, Probate Judge Robert Goebel, and County Treasurer Sandra Buckland, agreed the two petitions filed by Richard Lake of Escanaba on behalf of the non-partisan Committee to Recall Rick Snyder, were clear enough to understand.
The purpose for a clarity hearing is to determine if the language on the petition is clear enough for the average voter to understand the purpose of the recall. The commission does not have the authority to rule on the reasons for the recall.
The wording on the first petition reads, "In March 2011, Tom Casperson voted yes on what is now Public Act 4 of 2011." The second petition's wording reads, "He voted in favor of Public Act 4 of 2011, the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act of 2011."
Now that the clarity of the language has been approved, Casperson has the ability to appeal, but the appeal must be filed within 10 days after the County Election Commission's decision.
Lake was happy with the outcome of the clarity hearing.
"I think the hearing went well," said Lake. "The fact is I'm ready if they (Casperson) want to appeal."
The efforts to recall Casperson come from his support of the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act signed into law by Gov. Snyder March 16. The act safeguards and assures the fiscal accountability of local government units and school districts to make sure they provide the necessary services essential to public health, safety and welfare. If necessary, financial reviews can take place where officials could be ousted from office and replaced by an emergency financial manager appointed by the state.
In the past, Lake has said this new law takes the power away from local officials elected by local voters. It also undermines the enforceability of binding contracts and fails to consider long-term economic and social impacts on the state.
Lake said he hopes to begin collecting recall signatures at the U.P. State Fair. If not the hope would be to begin collecting signatures for the recall on Labor Day.
According to Kolich, the recall could appear on the November ballot - if there are enough required signatures by Aug. 5. However, the recall would more likely appear on the February 2012 ballot, if there are enough signatures.
According to a previous Daily Press article, the number of signatures needed varies. The MDOS and Michigan Constitution say a petitioner must gather signatures from the equivalent of 25 percent of those living in the district represented by the officer who is being recalled, who voted for the officer of governor during the last primary election.