After some uncertainty, the Contra Costa Elections Office verified enough signatures for Hercules to move forward with a recall election targeting Councilman Don Kuehne and Mayor Joanne Ward.
“I received a call from the County Elections Division regarding the verification of signatures for recall of Council Member Kuehne and Mayor Ward," City Clerk Doreen Mathews said in an e-mail late Friday afternoon. "The verification has been completed and both petitions have been certified as having sufficient signatures to qualify for election."
Mathews said she will pick up the petitions and certificate of sufficiency. Within 14 days of receiving the certificate, the council must call a recall election.
After an initial random sampling of 500 of the roughly 5,000 recall election signatures, neither petition met the required 110 percent verification needed to certify the petitions. Kuehne’s petition was calculated at 105.79 percent verification and Ward’s was at 99.88 percent. If either fell below 95 percent verification, it would have been considered invalid and a recall election for that seat would not have happened.
“They fell in the in-between percentage range that said it’s too close to call based on the random sampling and every signature must be counted,” said Candy Lopez, assistant county registrar at the elections office.