Residents of a remote county in eastern Oregon where an armed group seized a federal wildlife refuge have voted overwhelmingly to keep in office a top local official who had denied the occupiers access to a county building. “I feel so good about the outcome,” Harney County Judge Steve Grasty told The Associated Press over the phone from the county courthouse in Burns. “The voters have spoken. What’s important is to move ahead, see where is the common ground … People won’t always agree but we can find what we can work on together.” Grasty had faced the special recall election Tuesday because he refused to let the activists, who said they were protesting federal land-use policies, use a county building to host a meeting. Supporters of the recall say Grasty violated rights to free speech and freedom of assembly.
Voters in a rural Oregon town are receiving ballots in the mail for a recall election targeting a judge who opposed the armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge earlier this year. Harney County Judge Steve Grasty decided to fight the recall even though he is retiring this year. The recall has stirred passions in Burns, which held the national spotlight for weeks during the standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Ammon Bundy and others occupied the refuge this winter to protest federal land policy and the imprisonment of Dwight and Steven Hammond, two ranchers sent to prison for starting fires. The 41-day standoff ended Feb. 11 and included the fatal shooting by police of rancher and occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum.
Venezuela’s government has asked the Supreme Court to reject the opposition’s proposal to hold a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office.
It accused the leaders of the recall referendum movement of fraud. On Friday the National Electoral Council (CNE) declared more than 600,000 signatures on a petition for the referendum invalid. The opposition says the electoral authorities are biased against them. Venezuela is on the brink of economic collapse, facing high inflation and the shortage of food and basic goods. The opposition blames the Socialist policies of Mr Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, for the country’s economic decline.
Venezuela’s embattled President Nicolas Maduro vowed on Saturday that no referendum on ending his administration would be held until next year. Maduro’s opponents are racing to call a referendum before January 10, as a successful recall vote before that deadline would trigger new elections rather than transfer power to the vice president. If the opposition meets all requirements with their bid to oust Maduro, “the recall referendum will be held next year. Period,” the leftist populist said. For months now, Maduro has faced increasing hostility, with opponents accusing him of driving oil-rich Venezuela to the brink of economic collapse and launching a marathon process to call a vote on ousting him from office. “We must respect whatever the electoral authorities” decide, Maduro said at a pro-government event in Caracas.
Blowing horns and chanting slogans, protesters gather outside a Caracas subway station. They plan to march to the National Electoral Council to demand that authorities hold a recall election. But it’s a sparse crowd. Shortly before the protest began, officials loyal to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro shut down subway stations in this part of the city. University student Daniel Barrios insists this was done to disrupt the march. “The government is always trying to make us look small,” he says. “You can see here the subway, and you can see the station’s closed. And that’s a predicament, because they need to take the subway to come to these types of demonstrations.”
Venezuela’s electoral commission on Tuesday released documents that would allow opposition politicians to collect signatures and formally begin a process aimed at removing President Nicolás Maduro from office. The decision by the commission — which is controlled by Mr. Maduro’s Socialist government and previously resisted handing over the papers — lifted hopes of the opposition politicians, who control the National Assembly and have vowed to oust the president by the end of the year. It made Venezuela the second country in the region undergoing an effort to remove its leader. This month, Brazil’s lower house of Congress approved the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff over accusations that she misused state money.
Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan hired a law firm using up to $800,000 in taxpayer money to help his administration navigate through a throng of civil and criminal investigations. Both candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have called for him to resign. On Thursday he faces a grilling by a congressional committee in Washington. And as voters went to the polls on the state’s Primary Day last Tuesday, a group led by a Detroit pastor began an effort to recall him in a statewide referendum, a repeat of the movement that in 2012 targeted a fellow Republican, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. For a man who swept into office in 2010 by promoting his résumé as a no-nonsense accountant and businessman who was above politics, Governor Snyder now finds himself in the middle of the kind of bitter partisan warfare that he has long disdained. Many Michigan voters now blame him for how he handled two of the state’s biggest debacles, the tainted water crisis in Flint and the tattered Detroit public schools.
The stunning success of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential race suggests that American voters are very restless, and very displeased with the political status quo. That’s certainly true. But it’s also nothing new. And perhaps no statistic shows this better than the continuing popularity of recall elections. For the fifth year in a row, more than 100 officials across the U.S. have either faced an actual recall vote or resigned in the face of such a threat. The use of the recall may in some ways be seen as a product of an empowered, technologically connected, and occasionally enraged electorate. After all, for the better part of the 20th century, the recall was an almost forgotten relic of the Progressive Era. But no more. As we saw in Wisconsin in 2011 and 2012, and Colorado in 2013, recalls have become a major part of the political landscape. And when they get on the ballot, they work. This year, 108 recalls got on the ballot or led to a resignation. Of those 108, 65 officials were ousted, and 15 resigned. Only 28 survived the voters’ wrath.
Illinois: State Representative Introduces Bill To Create Recall Mechanism For Chicago Mayor | CBS Chicago
The protesters calling for the ouster of Mayor Rahm Emanuel have been stifled because there is no mechanism to do so but, a member of the Illinois general assembly wants to change that with a bill that would provide a way to call a special election to recall the mayor of Chicago. “The people have lost confidence in the mayor and until he can regain confidence, we have to have something in place that we can try to bring the city together,” said Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-8th District). The bill proposes that a recall election can be initiated by a petition with signatures totaling at least 15 percent of the total votes cast in the previous mayoral election. It would need at least 50 votes from each ward in Chicago and must be signed by at least two aldermen.
Colorado: Jefferson County recall ballot timeline draws concerns from Colorado Secretary of State | The Denver Post
Colorado’s secretary of state has concerns about how Jefferson County will pull off having a recall election on the regular November election ballot. After Jefferson County Clerk Faye Griffin announced Thursday that the recall of three school board members would be placed on the general election ballot Nov. 3, Secretary of State Wayne Williams sent a letter asking for more details. “Your limited window for setting the recall election date presents challenges no matter which date you choose,” Williams wrote. “Because of this timeline you will need near-optimal circumstances to place both recall and coordinated content on the same ballot and meet the ballot-mailing deadline for the coordinated election.”