Kshama Sawant supporters begin mobilizing for winter recall vote in Seattle

Aug 17, 2021, 9:53 AM | Updated: Aug 19, 2021, 5:14 am
Sawant winter recall...
Supporters for Kshama Sawant. (Kshama Solidarity, YouTube)
(Kshama Solidarity, YouTube)

With a winter special election quickly becoming the most likely date for a recall vote for Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant, her supporters are already beginning to mobilize efforts to get out the vote.

What’s next for Sawant recall with November vote no longer likely?

The recall campaign has until mid-October before a 180-day window to gather 10,739 verified signatures from District 3 voters expires, constituting 25% of total votes cast in the last election for the district’s council seat in 2019.

While there isn’t a hard deadline to get on any one election, there are significant time constraints surrounding the signature validation process that make a winter special election the most likely outcome.

Because a special election also typically results in a significantly lower voter turnout than an August primary or November general election, Kshama Solidarity — the group operating in support of Sawant against the recall — has started a push for what it hopes will be “the biggest Get Out the Vote effort Seattle has ever seen.”

In support of that effort, Kshama Solidarity volunteers have set up tables across District 3, asking residents to sign a card pledging to “commit to mobilizing three friends, family members, or coworkers” to vote against the recall effort.

The group also has a fundraiser scheduled for Sept. 10 at the Beacon Cinema, having already raised nearly $630,000 across over 6,700 individual contributors over the last nine-plus months.

Meanwhile, the recall campaign has remained quiet regarding the number of signatures it currently has in hand, or when it plans to turn them in, having increased its target number to roughly 16,000-20,000 after originally setting a goal of 13,000-14,000. King County Elections typically advises petitioners to submit 20-30% more signatures than they need to qualify.

Campaign accuses Sawant of ‘co-opting’ recall process

“When we are confident we have collected enough signed and verified petitions to qualify for the ballot, we will submit them to King County Elections,” recall manager Henry Bridger told MyNorthwest in early August.

Updates from the recall have also been few and far between while Kshama Solidarity has mobilized its “get out the vote” effort. The campaign’s last public statement from Bridger was issued on Aug. 2, while its recent posts on social media have been limited to a statement “asking for help” from District 3 votes with a link to the recall’s website. As of Aug. 12, the recall has raised over $600,000 across 4,635 contributors.

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Kshama Sawant supporters begin mobilizing for winter recall vote in Seattle